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Brown criticised for Gold Price 'clanger'

A senior figure at Hargreaves Lansdown has today (May 11th) criticised Gordon Brown's decision to sell half of the UK's gold reserves, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The prime minister, who was then chancellor, sanctioned the auctioning of about 350 tonnes of gold between July 1999 and March 2002, when the average Gold Price was $276.60 per ounce.

However, the yellow metal has since soared - peaking at $1,033 per ounce in March 2008 - and Mark Dampier, head of research at the financial services provider, has questioned Mr Brown's judgement.

He told the newspaper: "This has to be one of his worst clangers and I'm not sure he thought much about the decision.

"Before you buy or sell something it's common sense to see what the price has done - by looking at the price chart going back 20 to 25 years. Gold had peaked at about $850 and come all the way down."

Mr. Dampier's comments come after anyone with a Gold Investment received a boost last week as Zimbabwe confirmed that its gold output fell by 76 percent in the first four months of 2009.

David Mungari, president of the Chamber of Mines, revealed that the country - which is ravaged by political disharmony - will continue to struggle to produce reasonable amounts of the metal.

"The major challenge to the mining sector at the moment is financing needed to resume production as well as re-start exploration and development of new deposits," he told Reuters.

"This is particularly so for gold mines."

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