Gold falls

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THE GOLD price fell sharply again on Friday following reports that the French Government was planning large sales to boost its reserves, which have been badly depleted by France's attempts to shore up the value of the franc in recent weeks. Gold was fixed on Friday at dollars 367.70 an ounce, down dollars 6 from Thursday's close.

The Bank of France has been left with a deficit of more than Fr180bn ( pounds 20bn). It could raise up to dollars 30bn if it sold all its holdings of gold, but analysts said it was France was unlikely to be a big seller. Historically it has held higher levels of gold reserves than most industrial countries.