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Written by: Staff

SYDNEY, Apr 24 (Reuters) Investors lapped up more gold on Monday, boosting bullion prices by more than $1 as oil prices held firm and the U.S. dollar slipped, keeping inflation concerns alive.

''We're seeing a bit more interest in gold compared with Friday,'' a gold dealer in Sydney said.

Investors increasingly see gold as a hedge against the depreciation of the dollar, particularly as rising oil prices spell higher inflation.

Spot gold cost $633.50/$634.30 a ounce at 0300 GMT, versus $632 in late New York trade on Friday.

Silver gained 17 cents to $13.10/$13.20 an ounce.

Silver prices have soared as much as 50 percent this year, hitting $14.68 last Thursday on expectations an exchange-traded fund under review will boost demand, which has waned as jewellery and film photography is replaced with digital technology.

The metal is used in photographic paper and film. Up to 5,000 colour photos can be taken using an ounce of silver.

Barclays Global Investors, which plans to list the fund, is awaiting regulatory approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gains in both metals were set in motion in the final Comex sesssion last week, when precious metals recovered some ground after a widespread sell-off the previous day as speculators seeking profits found prices too high to resist.

''At those levels, there was money to be made by selling,'' another dealer said.

Oil found support among edgy investors over Iran's refusal to back down on its nuclear programme despite a pledge to keep oil supplies flowing.

Meanwhile, the dollar tumbled to a three-month low against the yen Platinum was at $1,122/$1,127 an ounce versus $1,125/1,130 in New York.

Palladium climbed to $360/365 an ounce from $355/360.


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