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Gold Moves Up Near $1,650

3/23/2012 7:04 AM ET

The price of gold moved up near the $1,650-mark Friday morning amid a generally weak US dollar.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, added $7.40 to $1,649.90 an ounce. Yesterday, gold ended down at a nine-week low as the dollar strengthened while commodity prices dropped on some weak economic data from China and euro zone, fueling further concerns of an economic slowdown.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, moved down to 1.282.69 tons from 1,293.27 tons.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was lingering neat its 2-week low versus the euro and moving lower against sterling. The buck continued to level off from its 1-year peak versus the yen, while trading flat against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, confidence among France's businesses improved markedly in March with their production outlook improving significantly, a survey by the statistical office Insee revealed. The headline synthetic index rose to 96 in March from a February's revised reading of 93. Economists expected an increase to 93 from February's original reading of 92.

Elsewhere, the prices of silver and platinum were moving higher in morning deals.

From the U.S., the Commerce Department will release its new home sales report for February at 10 a.m. ET. The consensus estimate calls for new homes sales of 325,000 after new home sales declined unexpectedly to a 321,000 unit-rate in the previous month.

by RTT Staff Writer

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