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Global Gold Demand Mixed

Worldwide gold demand soared in dollar terms during the first half of 2006 as consumers paid higher prices, but sank in tonnage terms, the World Gold Council (WGC) said Aug. 16.Demand for gold slid by 16% to 1,635.7 tons during the first six months of the year, compared with 1,950.5 tons in the same period of 2005, said WGC.

But in dollar terms, the value of global gold consumption leapt almost 1% to a record $31 billion(24 billion euros) in the first half, compared with $26.8 billion, the WGC added.

Gold prices soared by 38% over the first half. As a result of surging prices, which averaged almost $630 dollars per ton during the second quarter. Gold prices had hit $730.40 per ounce in London trading on May 12, the highest level since 1980, as investor buying escalated amid geopolitical concerns, particularly over Iran's disputed nuclear ambitions.Investors seek refuge in gold, which is seen as a safe store of value in times of higher inflation and political tensions.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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