April 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a more than seven-year high on Tuesday as mounting fears of a steeper global economic downturn due to the novel coronavirus increased bullion's safe-haven appeal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold gained 0.1% to $1,715.25 per ounce by 0037 GMT, having touched its highest since Dec. 2012 at $1,722.20 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,770.20 an ounce. * Asian stocks were set for a modest bounce on Tuesday as U.S. stock futures edged higher, although fears the coronavirus could drag on the global economy for months are likely to temper investor confidence. * A slump in China's exports is expected to have extended into March while a collapse in oil price likely deepened a decline in imports, a Reuters poll showed, as the virus cripples the global economy and overall demand. * The U.S. Congress struggled to produce a fresh coronavirus relief bill on Monday, as a stubborn standoff between Republicans and Democrats complicated the challenge of passing legislation with most lawmakers out of town. * A steep economic downturn and massive rescue spending will nearly quadruple the fiscal 2020 U.S. budget deficit to a record $3.8 trillion, a staggering 18.7% of U.S. economic output, a Washington-based watchdog group said on Monday. * Seven Northeastern U.S. states and three on the West Coast formed regional pacts on Monday aimed at coordinating a gradual reopening of their economies without a resurgence of coronavirus infections just as the outbreak appeared to be starting to wane. * The International Monetary Fund on Monday said it would provide immediate debt relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to allow them to focus more financial resources on fighting the pandemic. * The death toll from COVID-19 in British hospitals rose to 11,329 on Monday and the government, which is having to operate without its convalescing leader Boris Johnson, signalled that there would be no easing of lockdown measures this week. * SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.56% to 1,009.70 tonnes on Monday. * Palladium gained 1% to $2,210.57 per ounce, while silver eased 0.6% to $15.35 and platinum slipped 0.2% to $747.08 an ounce. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0630 India WPI Inflation YY March N/A China Exports, Imports YY March N/A China Trade Balance March (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
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