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Written by: Staff

SYDNEY, Apr 21 (Reuters) A broad sell-off in gold accelerated on Friday as speculators took profits on its surge to quarter-century highs, with bullion shedding about $7 an ounce.

Silver also came under the hammer of sellers, losing as much as 4 percent after a big tumble in the last COMEX session.

-- Spot gold was last fetching $612.60/$613.40.

-- Gold fell as low as $619.20/620.00 an ounce in New York after London's late fix was set at $625.

-- Gold opened in Sydney at $611.50/$612.30 an ounce.

-- Sharp declines in gold futures helped set the stage for sales in the spot market, with COMEX June gold falling by as much as $25 on Thursday. It settled at $623.10, off $12.90, or 2 percent.

-- Spot silver cost $11.90/$11.92 an ounce, down from $12.43/12.46 an ounce in late New York trade. Bullion dealers set Thursday's London fix at $14.31.

-- ''We are seeing very broad-based selling, with profit taking by big speculative position holders,'' a dealer said.

-- Crude oil easing from record highs and a U.S. steady dollar helped drive the decline, dealers said.

-- Spot platinum was down $7 versus late New York to $1,090/$1,100 an ounce.

-- Spot palladium fell $10 to $336/336.60 an ounce.


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