Gold. Picture: REUTERS
Gold. Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday as rising concerns over the fast-spreading coronavirus in China and its economic effect offset a firmer dollar.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,581.09 an ounce by 1.40am GMT. On Monday, prices rose to their highest since January 8 at $1,586.42. US gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,580.90.

China’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 106 by the end of January 27 and the total number of confirmed cases increased to 4,515, the national health commission said.

The outbreak is expected to hurt the world’s second-largest economy, as Chinese authorities step up preventive measures, impose travel restrictions and extend the Lunar New Year holidays to limit the spread of the virus.

Amid concerns of a wider outbreak, the US and Canada warned against travel to China.

Asian stocks extended a global sell-off as investor fears mounted over the virus outbreak.

Weighing on bullion, the dollar against a basket of currencies hovered near a two-month high hit in the previous session.

Investors look forward to the US Federal Reserve’s first meeting of the year starting on Tuesday.

Data on Monday showed sales of new US single-family homes fell unexpectedly in December.

Barrick Gold will start to ship gold worth up to $280m from Tanzania, CEO Mark Bristow said on Monday, after the government lifted an export ban following the resolution of a three-year tax dispute.

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.13% to 899.41 tons on Monday.

Palladium advanced 0.6% to $2,282.29 an ounce, having declined to its lowest at $2,258.92 in the previous session. Silver was flat at $18.09, while platinum rose 0.5% to $988.31.