Gold prices inched higher on Friday as worries intensified that the rapidly spreading coronavirus could turn into a pandemic and derail global economic growth.
- Spot gold gained 0.2% to $1,645.79 per ounce by 0055 GMT, and was up about 0.1% for the week.
- U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,644.20.
- Global share prices headed for the worst week since the world financial crisis in 2008 as investors braced for the virus to become a pandemic and rapidly spread around the world.
- The Japanese yen rose to its highest in more than three weeks against the U.S. dollar, while benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields held close to record lows touched in the previous session.
- Mainland China had 327 new confirmed cases of infections on Thursday, the National Health Commission said on Friday, down from 433 cases a day earlier.
- Iran said on Thursday its death toll rose to 26, by far the highest number outside China, and the total number of infected people stood at 245, including several senior officials.
- Moody's Analytics said a pandemic would result in global and U.S. recessions during the first half of this year, while rate cuts by the Federal Reserve might fall short of stabilising markets.
- The Fed may need to move aggressively to cut borrowing costs to cushion the economy from the effects of the virus, CME Group's FedWatch indicated.
- Four European Central Bank policymakers played down the prospect of immediate action to counter the economic impact of the virus, saying it was too early to gauge the long-term implications of the disease.
- Palladium slipped 0.1% to $2,840.73 an ounce, but was on track to post its fourth straight weekly gain.
- Platinum was down 0.2% to $897, and was headed for its worst week since November 2015.- Silver rose 0.6% to $17.81 per ounce, but was on track to post a weekly decline.