(Adds gold, oil settlement prices)
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Coronavirus death toll climbs past 900, exceeds SARS toll of 774
* MSCI world index rebounds, Wall Street rallies
* Nasdaq hits new record
* Dollar takes breather after rally last week
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Gold rose and the dollar hit a four-month high against the euro on Monday on safe-have appeal as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak passed that of the SARS epidemic two decades ago, but Wall Street rallied as investors took the long view.
Worries about the coronavirus kept investors on edge, as the World Health Organization warned transmission of the deadly virus among people who have not visited China could be “the spark that becomes a bigger fire.”
Deal talks and a rally in defensive sectors helped the broad pan-European STOXX 600 index close up 0.07%, while Wall Street rebounded on the outlook for earnings and the economy, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high.
Weak economic data in the eurozone made the dollar relatively more attractive than the single currency, especially considering Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report showing an acceleration in job growth in January.
Data on Monday showed Italian industrial output was much weaker than expected in December, another setback for the euro after data on Friday showed German industrial output suffered its biggest fall since recession-hit 2009.
A gauge of global equity markets traded little changed, paring most losses after Wall Street rebounded in contrast to declining share prices in Europe, which also fell on concerns about the extent of the coronavirus.
“We have the safe-haven bid from the coronavirus. That is killing EM and really benefiting the dollar, and to a lesser extent the yen and Swiss,” said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.14% and emerging market stocks lost 0.49%. In Europe, automakers, among the most exposed to China, fell 0.8%.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124.31 points, or 0.43%, to 29,226.82. The S&P 500 gained 18.21 points, or 0.55%, to 3,345.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 88.30 points, or 0.93%, to 9,608.82.
“We know the coronavirus will affect results at least in first quarter,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “(But) we’ll be back to growth as usual for the rest of the year.”
Investors continued to monitor the advance of the virus, which had killed more than 900 people as of Sunday, mostly in China’s provincial capital of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The full economic impact of the virus is still unknown but is expected to exacerbate a slowdown in the Chinese economy. Electric carmaker Tesla Inc rose 4.7%, however, as its Shanghai factory returned to service.
The dollar index rose 0.17%, with the euro down 0.3% to $1.091. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.04% versus the greenback at 109.73 per dollar.
Bond yields fell. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 7/32 in price to yield 1.5525%.
Treasury debt, which serves as a safe-haven investment in times of geopolitical and economic volatility, has been in demand since the start of the year. The 10-year Treasury yield , which moves inversely to price, has fallen 17.8% since Dec. 31.
Shares overnight in Asia mostly fell. Japan’s Nikkei was off 0.6%, South Korea’s KOSPI was 0.5% weaker while Australia’s benchmark index eased 0.14%.
China’s indexes were the only ones in the black in Asia, with the blue-chip index adding 0.4% and Shanghai’s SSE Composite up 0.5%.
Oil prices dipped on weaker Chinese demand due to the coronavirus and as traders waited to see if Russia would join other producers in seeking further output cuts.
Oil has dropped more than 20% from a peak in January after the spreading virus hit demand in the world’s largest oil importer and fueled concerns of excess supplies.
Brent crude slipped $1.20 to settle at $53.27 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 75 cents to settle down at $49.57 a barrel.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.4% higher at $1,579.50 an ounce.
Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Stephen Culp in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Tom Brown