Gold climbs to 7-year high above $1,700 as virus fuels safe-haven bid
Gold prices rose above the $1,700 per ounce level on Monday for the first time in more than seven years, after a stock market rout due to concerns over a widening coronavirus outbreak and its economic impact drove investors towards safe-haven assets.
Spot gold rose 0.7% to $1,686.22 per ounce by 0325 GMT, having touched its highest since December 2012 at $1,702.56 earlier in the session.
US gold futures gained 0.9% to $1,687.80 per ounce.
"It is a massive flight to safety as the Chinese trade data was really bad, much worse than expected, Italy quarantined a quarter of their population (due to the coronavirus) and stock markets are down," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
China's exports contracted sharply in the first two months of the year while imports declined, data showed on Saturday, as the virus caused massive disruptions to business operations, global supply chains and economic activity.
"Gold is further supported by concerns that the slowdown of the global economy from the coronavirus would continue and central banks would keep rates low," Phillip Futures analysts said in a note.
Silver slipped 0.9% to $17.15 per ounce. Palladium fell 2.7% to $2,498.37 per ounce, while platinum was down 1.1% to $890.51.