Metals Stocks: Gold on track for small weekly gain as investors seek handle on coronavirus outbreak

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Gold edged higher Friday, on track for a small weekly rise as investors attempted to gauge the economic impact of the spread of COVID-19 in China.

Gold for April delivery GCJ20, +0.35%  on Comex rose $2.30, or 0.1%, to $1,581.10 an ounce, while March silver SIH20, +0.74%  gained 9.6 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $17.715 an ounce.

Increased concerns over China’s viral outbreak have served to underpin gold and other haven assets, particularly when equities and other assets perceived as risky come under selling pressure.

“The upward move in gold has been proportionate to the downside percentage move in global stock markets. The metal’s broadly positive trend continues, and should the bullish move continue it might target the $1,593 area,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note.

China on Friday said 121 more people had died from COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,381. The country’s National Health Commission reported 5,090 new confirmed cases in mainland China, bringing the total to 63,851. The number of new cases jumped sharply on Thursday after a change in the government’s counting method.

In other metals trade, April platinum PLJ20, +0.02%  rose 0.3% to $977.40 an ounce, while March palladium PAH20, +0.31%  advanced 0.5% to $2,362 an ounce.

March copper HGH20, -0.33%  was off 0.4% at $2.602 a pound.

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