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Gold steady as virus fears counter firmer equities

Spot gold was little changed at $1,570.98 per ounce by 0041 GMT. The metal touched its highest since Feb. 4 at $1,576.76 on Monday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,574.60.

February 11, 2020 / 08:15 AM IST

Gold prices held steady on Tuesday after climbing to a one-week peak in the previous session, as concerns about the coronavirus epidemic that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in China offset an uptick in equities.

FUNDAMENTALS

** Spot gold was little changed at $1,570.98 per ounce by 0041 GMT. The metal touched its highest since Feb. 4 at $1,576.76 on Monday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,574.60.

** Asian shares inched higher on Tuesday, after U.S. stocks hit a record peak overnight, as investors assessed how quickly China's factories could return to work as the coronavirus continues to spread and deaths mount.

** The U.S. dollar and Japanese yen were in demand as worries about the spread of the coronavirus sent investors to safe harbours.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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** The U.S. economy is in good shape and the Federal Reserve should hold rates steady for the time being, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Monday.

** China's Hubei province, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, reported 2,097 new cases and 103 new deaths on Feb. 10, the local health authority said on Tuesday.

** The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic but no new loans, the development lender's president, David Malpass, said on Monday.

** More than 300 Chinese firms are seeking bank loans totalling at least 57.4 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to soften the impact of the coronavirus, two banking sources said.

** Shanta Gold said it had acquired Barrick subsidiary Acacia Exploration's project in southwestern Kenya in a $14.5 million deal which gives the Tanzania-focused miner its first asset outside the country.

** Palladium remained unchanged at $2,353.00 an ounce, silver was flat at $17.75, and platinum edged higher by 0.3% to $963.19.
Reuters
first published: Feb 11, 2020 08:07 am

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