Gold bars. Picture: REUTERS
Gold bars. Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices were little changed on Wednesday after sliding 1% in the previous session, as investors took stock of the economic effect of the new coronavirus and awaited the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.

Spot gold remained steady at $1,565.69/oz by 0134 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,565.10.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 132, while the number of confirmed cases rose to 5,974, heaping pressure on Beijing to control the disease as the US weighs the suspension of all flights to the country. Asian shares rose, though broader confidence was capped by worries about the economic effect of the outbreak.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed creating a Palestinian state as part of a Middle East peace plan, drawing Palestinian condemnation.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below those of the three-month bill early Tuesday for the first time since October, on concerns over the economic effect of the coronavirus. New orders for key US-made capital goods dropped by the most in eight months in December, while consumer confidence surged to a five-month high in January.

Investors look forward to the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision due later in the day.

Gold prices will hold above $1,500/oz in 2020 and make modest gains in 2021 as low interest rates and geopolitical uncertainly bolster its appeal, while silver prices will begin to catch up, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

Swiss gold exports fell in 2019 to their lowest since the records became public in 2012, with shipments to China, the biggest market, tumbling by nearly two thirds, customs data showed on Tuesday.

Switzerland's exports of palladium doubled in 2019 while platinum exports fell. Palladium rose 0.2% to $2,293.75/oz.

Silver was flat at $17.44, having dipped to its lowest since December  24 at $17.42 earlier in the session, while platinum shed 0.1% to $984.68.