February 14, 2020 / 2:08 AM / 15 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near one-week high as virus toll stalls stock markets

    Feb 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady near a one-week
high on Friday, as a mounting coronavirus death toll supported
safe-haven buying, while a stronger dollar kept a lid on gains.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,576.76 per
ounce, as of 0114 GMT. In the previous session, the metal hit
$1,577.81, its highest in more than a week. 
    * Bullion is set to gain 0.4% for the week.
    * U.S. gold futures        remained unchanged at $1,578.80.
    * The Chinese province at the centre of the coronavirus
outbreak reported a record rise in deaths and thousands more
infections using a broader definition on Thursday.             
            
    * Global shares eased as investors were spooked by a sharp
rise in the number of coronavirus cases in China this week while
oil prices extended gains on hopes of more production cuts.
           
    * The Japanese yen held on to gains against the dollar as
renewed worries about the outbreak supported demand for
safe-haven currencies.       
    * However, the dollar rose above a four-month peak.
    * The coronavirus-hit Chinese economy will grow at its
slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter,
according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn
will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.             
    * Investors were spooked after the head of the Revolutionary
Guards said that Iran was ready to strike the United States and
Israel if they give it any reason to do so.             
    * The risk-averse sentiment in the market supported bullion,
often seen as an alternative investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty. 
    * Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors accused Huawei of stealing
trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest
indictment against the Chinese company.             
    * Egypt has approved a mining licence for Aton Resources Inc
       , the Canada-based gold miner said on Thursday, the first
such award since the country's main gold producer Centamin
        secured a licence more than a decade ago.             
    * Palladium        was little changed at $2,423.89 an ounce,
silver        rose 0.2% to $17.67, and platinum        was
trading flat at $967.75.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
1100  EU       GDP Flash Estimate QQ, YY   Q4
1330  US       Retail Sales MM             Jan
1415  US       Industrial Production MM    Jan
1500  US       U Mich Sentiment Prelim     Feb

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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