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Fed concerns, weak US data send gold to a 6-month-high US$1,696

AP--The price of gold is at its highest level in nearly six months after a weak manufacturing report heightened expectations that the Fed will step in to help the U.S. economy.

Gold for December delivery rose US$8.40 to finish Tuesday at US$1,696 per ounce. It's the highest price since mid-March.

A trade group of purchasing managers reports that August factory production, new orders and employment all declined. It's the latest indication that the manufacturing industry continues to struggle.

The report is raising hope among traders that the Federal Reserve will take additional steps to improve economic growth. Gold would benefit because it often is used as a hedge against inflation.

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