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Written by: Staff

SINGAPORE, May 5 (Reuters) Gold hit a 25-year high on Friday on persistent fund buying sparked by a weak dollar and tension in the Middle East over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

-- Spot gold hit a high of $679.70 an ounce before retreating to $676.50/678.00 an ounce, little changed from $676.90/677.90 late in New York on Thursday.

-- Gold is seen as technically overbought, but a weak dollar would underpin the metal, with $700 an ounce -- a level last seen in September 1980 -- the next key target.

-- The dollar held near multiple lows on Friday, having hit a one-year trough on the euro after the European Central Bank reaffirmed market expectations for a June rate hike.

-- The euro was quoted at $1.2697, having hit a high of $1.2723 in New York on Thursday after ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet emphasised the central bank's vigilance on inflation.

-- Dealers saw an outside chance of a dollar bounce should U.S.

payroll figures later on Friday beat forecasts of a 200,000 employment rise and a 4.7 percent jobless rate.

-- Platinum was little changed at $1,173/1,180 an ounce.

-- Palladium was untraded at $377.50/382.50 an ounce.

-- Silver inched down to $13.91/14.01 from $13.94/14.04 in New York.

Precious Metals Prices by 0106 GMT* Last Net Change Pct Move Gold 676.50 -0.40 -0.06 Platinum 1173.00 0.00 +0.00 Palladium 377.50 0.00 +0.00 Silver 13.91 -0.03 -0.22 Change so far in 2006 Metal Latest bid End prev year Pct Move Gold 676.50 517.20 +30.80 Platinum 1173.00 968.00 +21.18 Palladium 377.50 254.00 +48.62 Silver 13.91 8.81 +57.89 * The closing prices used to calculate the net change may differ from New York's last quoted prices.


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