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Gold prices touch 7-year high

New Delhi, Dec. 19: Gold prices skyrocketed to touch near 7-year high levels at Rs 5,680 in the local bullion market today on frantic buying triggered by an extremely bullish trend overseas.

The price shot up to touch the day's high of Rs 5,680, a level seen in February 1996, on reports of a remarkable rise in its prices in London, where it quoted around $ 354 an ounce in the afternoon.

The rise in yellow metal in Asian countries to $ 354 gave a new meaning to the term bull run. It moved between $ 339 and $ 354 range during the day.

In Delhi, gold surrendered part of the gains to close at Rs 5,635 per ten gram, still showing a notable rise of Rs 115 against previous close of Rs 5,520. In Mumbai, the yellow metal gained Rs 75 to close at Rs 5,560.

Marketmen said gold spurted in international market on host of factors including concerns of sustained weakness in the US dollar, the increasing likelihood of a US-led attack on Iraq and high crude oil prices.

They said the rise in gold prices in Asian countries was not only over concerns of war in Iraq but also fears of long-term instability in world financial markets. There was some buying by investors after fall in stock prices in and around the country, which shifted their focus.

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