Gold prices up amid coronavirus outbreak in China

World

Published: 2020-02-05 14:50

Last Updated: 2020-02-05 15:21


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Gold prices rose today, recovering from a sharp drop in the previous session, as safe-haven demand was boosted by worries over a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in China.

Spot gold gained 0.6% to $1,561.62 per ounce, after declining 1.5% on Tuesday — the biggest since early-November. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.7% to $1,565.60 per ounce.

"There’s an increase in demand (for gold) because of flight to safety with the coronavirus and concerns about (economic) growth," said John Sharma, an economist at National Australia Bank (NAB).

"We are still witnessing deaths and quarantine problems. As long as deaths are around, there’ll still be increasing demand for gold."

The number of people infected in China by the coronavirus outbreak jumped on Wednesday to nearly 500, after Hong Kong reported its first death from the disease and millions more in China were ordered to stay indoors.

The confirmed toll in mainland China rose to 490 after hardest-hit Hubei province reported 65 more people had died -- the biggest single-day tally since the first fatalities emerged last month.

Globally, more than 24,000 cases have been confirmed.

More than 20 countries have confirmed cases of the virus, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, several governments to institute travel restrictions, and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.

Also read: Confirmed coronavirus death toll in China rises to 490