Gold prices extended their 7-year high on Friday in Asia amid concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus beyond China.
Gold Futures for April delivery gained 0.7% to $1,631.35 by 12:57 AM ET (04:57 GMT).
The safe-haven asset received a boost this week even as China implemented fresh monetary stimulus measures to combat the economic impact of the virus outbreak. The People’s Bank of China slashed its benchmark lending rate yesterday.
South Korea reported 52 new cases of the virus on Friday, taking the national total to 156, while Japan reported the first fatalities from aboard a cruise ship that accounts for the biggest cluster of infections outside China.
Adding to concerns today were warnings made by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization that a global outbreak of the virus could happen at any time.
“The number of cases in the rest of the world is very small compared to what we have in China, but that may not stay the same for long,”he told reporters at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva.
There are now 74,675 cases of the coronavirus in China, Tedros said, including 2,121 deaths in the country. Outside of China, there are 1,076 confirmed cases in 26 countries, he added.