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    War could send gold to US$400: ABARE
    Gold could peak as high as US$400 an ounce if there is a US-led invasion of Iraq, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics. Global uncertainty has helped gold average US$360/oz over the past year, but in its quarterly commodities review ABARE warned the price could rise or fall dramatically depending on the duration of any war.

    A short conflict and easing tension surrounding North Korea's nuclear program would result in gold dropping to US$335 in 2003 and to US$305 in 2004, ABARE predicted.

    The forecast is based on the principal that a quick finish to the conflict would allow certainty to find its way back into the world market again quickly and the money being invested in the "safe haven" of gold would be used elsewhere, the government forecaster said.

    However, if war breaks out ABARE expected investors to want their money in a strong commodity like gold, forcing the price up.

    Last month gold peaked at US$390 an ounce as the threat of war was starting to look like more of a reality.


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