Gold bars and others precious metals are pictured at the Agosi factory in Pforzheim, southwestern Germany. Picture: AFP/PATRICK HERTZOG
Gold bars and others precious metals are pictured at the Agosi factory in Pforzheim, southwestern Germany. Picture: AFP/PATRICK HERTZOG

Bengaluru — Gold prices edged higher on Friday as fears over a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak and its economic affect fuelled safe-haven buying.

However, China’s move to cut tariffs on some US imports that sent global stock markets higher in the previous session weighed on bullion prices.

Spot gold was up 0.1% to $1,568.76/oz by 0.52am GMT. The metal has fallen 1.3% so far this week, heading for its worst week since November 8. US gold futures were flat at $1,570.70/oz.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China reached 636 by the end of Thursday, up 73 from the previous day, the National Health Commission said.

Asian shares eased as investors remained jittery about the widespread virus outbreak.

Beijing said it would lower extra levies imposed last year on 1,717 US products, weeks after the signing of a phase 1 trade deal that brought a truce to a bruising tariff dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

The dollar was on track for its best weekly gain since early November, amid upbeat economic indicators ahead of the US non-farm payrolls data.

US weekly jobless claims hit a nine-month low as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to 202,000 last week, while productivity rebounded in the fourth quarter.

US Federal Reserve vice-chair Randal Quarles said policymakers should consider changes that would make it easier for banks to treat Treasury holdings as similar to reserves held with the central bank when meeting liquidity requirements.

Two illegal Zimbabwean miners died and another was injured after the gold mine they were working in collapsed, the disaster management agency said on Thursday.

Palladium advanced 0.4% to $2,355.36/oz, silver rose 0.1% to $17.83/oz and platinum edged higher by 0.1% to $962.87/oz. 

Reuters

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