Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Gold Prices Up; Fed’s Minutes Eyed

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Alex Ho - Gold prices inched up on Wednesday as traders await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes of its latest meeting, which is due later in the day.

Gold Futures for April delivery gained 0.2% to $1,607.25 by 1:45 AM ET (05:45 GMT).

The yellow metal gained more than 5% so far this year is now near its highest level since 2013. Fears of the new coronavirus and its impact on global growth pushed the safe-haven metal higher, while speculation that the Fed might reduce interest rates were also cited as a tail wind.

In the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak, The Hubei province reported 132 deaths for Feb. 18. So far, China has 74,186 confirmed cases of the virus, according to government data.

Traders closely monitored China’s progress in returning to work as the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak. State media reported on Wednesday that more than 80% of its state-owned enterprises' roughly 20,000 manufacturing subsidiaries have resumed work.

The epidemic is expected to impact business in China and drag down its economic growth. Earlier this month, Moody's Investors Service has lowered the growth forecast for China from 5.8% to 5.2% for 2020.

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