Gold edges upward

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Renewed international concern eases gold upwardGold prices moved past $870 per ounce in Friday trading after a week of steady rises.

Tensions in the Middle East and on the Indian-Pakistani border helped to boost the price of the precious metal – widely viewed as a safe haven investment – during an otherwise quiet week of trading.

Spot prices for February rose quickly from $850 to $870 over the course of Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, concerns for the underlying strength of the U.S. economy – hit hard by growing unemployment and historically weak consumer demand – have led to renewed speculation over the future price of gold.

"Gold is solid as the dollar is under pressure because of a deepening U.S. recession and the Fed policy of keeping interest rates near zero," analyst Tatsuo Kageyama was reported as telling Bloomberg.

Some experts predict prices might rise as high as $2000 in the next year to 18 months in response to the global financial crisis and the possible worsening of relations in international trouble spots.

The resurgence of fighting between Hamas and Israel on Wednesday reinvigorated concern over Middle Eastern stability following the unraveling of a six-month ceasefire between the two sides earlier in the month. ADNFCR-1961-ID-18947604-ADNFCR

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