Gold rises on coronavirus epidemic fears

Pedro Gonçalves
Gold rises on coronavirus epidemic fears

Gold prices rose this Wednesday as safe-haven demand was boosted by worries over a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in China.

Internationally, gold traded at $1,557.80 an ounce on Wednesday, having hit $1,589.8 on Friday, its strongest level since April 2013. Its year-to-date rise follows an 18% rally in 2019 as a whole.

"There's an increase in demand [for gold] because of flight to safety with the coronavirus and concerns about [economic] growth," John Sharma, economist at National Australia Bank (NAB) told Reuters.

As long as deaths are around, there’ll still be increasing demand for gold"

"We are still witnessing deaths and quarantine problems. As long as deaths are around, there'll still be increasing demand for gold," he added.

The rally comes amid an outbreak that has claimed almost 500 lives - including the first coronavirus-related death in Hong Kong - and infected more than 24,000 people. The outbreak has spooked investors, who have plunged stock markets to record lows at the start of the lunar year in mainland China and Hong Kong.

"Gold tested and failed numerous times ahead of $1,590 an ounce over the last week. It implies that the Wuhan situation would need to escalate sharply to give gold the necessary momentum to rise above $1,600 an ounce," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.


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