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Yellow metal retreats

London/Mumbai, March 20: The price of gold slipped back today as investors decided against buying up the safe-haven asset at the start of war in Iraq on the assumption the US-led campaign will be a swift one.

Spot gold prices stood at $ 335.35 an ounce on the London bullion market, down $ 1.10 from the previous closing price.

The trend continued at the Mumbai bullion market where the impact was much milder than expectations. In unofficial trading, gold declined by Rs 10 to Rs 5,370 from yesterday’s close of Rs 5,380 and silver fell to Rs 7,700 from Rs 7,770. Meanwhile, traders said the real picture would emerge tomorrow when the market opens for trading.

The London market had stabilised somewhat following fluctuations in Asia as news of the initial US cruise missile strikes on Iraq first emerged.

“Gold initially firmed on the Asian open as reports of the air attacks circulated but the buying quickly dissipated,” James Moore of thebulliondesk.com said. The initial attack of around three dozen Cruise missiles, fired from US ships in the region, was a limited assault aimed at the Iraqi leadership, according to Washington. As more news came in of the scale of the attacks, the price slumped, he said.

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