Gold prices edged higher on Monday as worries about the economic impact of the rapidly spreading coronavirus triggered safe-haven demand.
Riskier assets such as equities were a bit subdued after the head of the World Health Organization said the thousands of coronavirus cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the center of the epidemic, is likely “just the tip of the iceberg.”
“There have been some concerning instances of onward 2019nCoV spread from people with no travel history to China. The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries,” tweeted Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO.
The death toll in China due to the virus epidemic rose more than 900 and the number of confirmed cases has risen over 40,000, according to Chinese health officials.
The dollar’s strength limited the yellow metal’s uptick. The dollar index advanced to 98.88 and was last seen at 98.84, up 0.16% from previous close.
Gold futures for April ended up $6.10, or about 0.4%, at $1,579.50 an ounce.
On Friday, gold futures for April ended at $1,573.40 an ounce, gaining $3.40, or 0.2%, for the session.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.093 at $17.785 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.5505 per pound, down $0.0025 from previous close.
Chinese authorities lifted some work and travel curbs, helping businesses to resume operations. Still, traders continued to stay cautious and largely refrained from making big moves with regard to fresh investments in riskier assets.