Gold Prices Rise Amid Sharp Jump in Death Toll, Confirmed Cases from Coronavirus

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By Alex Ho – Gold prices rose on Thursday in Asia after China reported a sharp jump in the death toll and confirmed cases from the coronavirus.

for April delivery gained 0.4% to $1,577.05 by 1:15 AM ET (05:15 GMT).

Hubei, the province at the center of the epidemic, said it is using a new method of diagnosis and reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases of coronavirus today, a 45% increase from the previous day.

The province said it began to include “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures, which refers to using CT imaging scans to diagnose patients.13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification.

“When you see numbers like this, you can’t help but move to risk-off trades, which means buy the yen and sell stocks,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo, in a Reuters report.

“If the authorities can reasonably explain this, things might calm down, but I expect risk aversion to continue.”

The news sent global equities lower, with Chinese and Hong Kong stocks trading in the red. The yellow metal gained amid safe-haven demand.

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