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Gold Slips Back Below $1,650

3/20/2012 7:23 AM ET

The price of gold was lingering below the $1,650-mark Tuesday morning amid a steady U.S. dollar.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $17.50 to $1,649.80 an ounce. Yesterday, gold ended higher as investors sought its safe haven appeal as the dollar continued to weaken.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,293.27 tons.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was leveling off from its weekly low versus the euro and a two-week low against sterling. The buck was steady near its 1-year peak versus the yen and edging up against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, Germany's producer price inflation eased for the fifth month to a 20-month low in February, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. The producer price index increased 3.2 percent annually in February in line with economists' expectations, slower than the 3.4 percent rise in January.

Elsewhere, U.K. annual inflation slowed further in February to the lowest level since November 2010, data from the Office for National Statistics showed today. Consumer price annual inflation slowed to 3.4 percent in February from 3.6 percent in January. Nevertheless, the inflation figure remained slightly above the 3.3 percent forecast by economists.

The prices of silver and platinum were moving lower in morning deals.

From the U.S., the Commerce Department will come out with its report on housing starts and building permits for the month of February. Economists expect the housing starts to come in at 700,000 from the last months 699,000.

by RTT Staff Writer

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