Gold scaled its highest in seven years and was last up 1%, having added over 3% this week. Τhe spread of coronavirus cases boosted demand for traditional safety plays from bonds to gold.
Gold prices were set for their strongest week in more than six months as demand for the safe-haven asset increased.
Spot gold scaled 0.8% to $1,632.65 per ounce by 0845 GMT, after hitting its highest since Feb. 14, 2013 at $1,635.98 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures jumped 1% to $1,636.50.
South Korea reported 52 new cases of the virus, taking the national total to 156. Japan reported the first fatalities from a cruise ship that accounts for the biggest cluster of infections outside China. China reported more cases of the disease.
G20 finance leaders will meet in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to discuss risks to the global economy stemming from the outbreak.
Traders are looking for signs on whether the Fed will cut rates this year amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak denting global growth. However, recent data has suggested U.S. economy is showing no signs of losing steam.
Investors will keep an eye on IHS Markit’s U.S. manufacturing and services sector activity data for February to gauge the coronavirus impact on businesses.START TRADING
Forex – Gold scaled at 7-year peak amid virus spread
Among the winners on Friday were the yen, gold and government bonds. Some investors have called into question yen’s status as a haven in times of economic and geopolitical strife.
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was last down 0.1% at 99.722, retreating from 33-month highs touched a day earlier.
The Japanese yen regained its footing on Friday after a bruising week. The yen gained as much as 0.5% against the dollar in European trading. The Japanese currency clawed back some ground after what had looked set to be its worst week in 2-1/2 years. It was last up 0.3% at 111.78.
The Australian dollar traded at an 11-year low of $0.66 overnight.
The euro has been shoved down to a near three-year low. The common currency saw a modest rise to $1.0817 to the dollar. IHS Markit’s Euro Zone Composite Flash PMI rose to 51.6 in February beating all forecasts
Sterling rose against both the dollar and euro on Friday after British factories reported the fastest rise in output for 10 months in February.
The British currency rose to hit the day’s high of $1.2928. It last traded 0.3% higher at $1.2922. Against the euro, the pound rose to the day’s high of 83.60 pence, higher by 0.14%.
Silver was up 0.8% to $18.50 and was set to register its best week since week ended Aug. 30.
PLEASE NOTE The information above is not investment advice.
Sources: Reuters, Investing, CNN money