"Syria itself doesn't produce a lot of oil. Syria is not critical for oil -- that's not what people are worried about," said Adrian Day, chairman and CEO of Adrian Day Asset Management. "People are worried about some kind of conflagration affecting other countries in the Middle East where oil is much more important; and the refiners and the shipping lanes."

In technical trading, $1,400 an ounce became a key level of price resistance before Syria gripped markets, and at about $1,398 an ounce on Friday it may mean the gold market is returning to a pre-Syria environment.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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