Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Bengaluru — Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as strong US economic data was offset by fears over a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak and its effect on the global economy.

Spot gold was flat at $1,556.36/oz by 1am GMT. Prices hit a more than two-week low of $1,546.90 in the previous session. US gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,559.30.

Another 73 people on the Chinese mainland died on Wednesday from the virus outbreak, the highest daily increase so far, bringing the total death toll to 563, the country’s health authority said.

Positive data from the US, such as the rise in January private payrolls and services sector activity, suggested the economy could continue to grow moderately in 2020.

The US trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill.

Asian stocks edged up after US stocks hit a record peak following encouraging US data, though investors remained wary about the effect from the virus outbreak.

The dollar held close to a two-month high hit in the previous session, against a basket of rival currencies, on the back of robust US economic data.

The World Health Organisation played down media reports of “breakthrough” drugs being discovered to treat people infected with the new coronavirus.

The China virus outbreak is adding to global economic uncertainty but its effect may be short term and temporary, limiting the need for policy action, top European Central Bank executives said.

US President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday in his US Senate impeachment trial, saved by fellow Republicans who rallied to protect him nine months before he asks voters to give him a second White House term.

Palladium remained unchanged at $2,431.69/oz, silver rose 0.4% to $17.67, and platinum edged higher by 0.1% to $982.60. 

Reuters

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