March 6, 2020 / 1:46 AM / a month ago

REFILE-PRECIOUS-Gold set for best week in over 8 years on coronavirus fears

 (Corrects to add dropped time zone in 1st bullet)
    March 6 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher on Friday and
were poised for their biggest weekly gain since October 2011, as
mounting worries over the economic fallout from the
fast-spreading coronavirus drove investors towards the
safe-haven metal.   
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        climbed 0.2% to $1,672.80 per ounce by
0118 GMT, having risen about 2% in the previous session. The
metal has gained about 5.5% so far this week.
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.4% to $1,674.20.
    * Asian equities followed Wall Street lower, after major
U.S. indexes fell more than 3% on Thursday, on fears that the
epidemic could land a hard blow on the global economy.
           
    * The virus death toll in the United States rose to 12 on
Thursday with the latest fatality recorded in King County,
Washington, and 53 new cases broke out across the country,
striking for the first time in Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and
San Francisco.             
    * The U.S. 10-year Treasury yields             fell to a
record low, while the dollar held close to a two-month low
touched against key rivals on Thursday.             
    * Against the dollar, the safe-haven Japanese yen       
hovered close to its highest since September, scaled in the
previous session.
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
fell last week, suggesting the labour market was on solid
footing despite the epidemic, data showed.             
    * The virus could knock $211 billion off the combined
economies of the Asia-Pacific, with Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore
and Australia among the most exposed, S&P Global Ratings said.
            
    * The Bank of Japan may take steps this month to ensure
companies hit by the outbreak do not face a financial squeeze
before the March end of the current fiscal year, according to
sources familiar with the central bank's thinking.             
    * The European Central Bank has asked euro zone banks to
review their business continuity plans and the actions they can
take to prepare for and minimize the potential adverse effects
of the virus, according to a letter seen by Reuters, dated
Tuesday.             
    * Palladium        was steady at $2,532.80 per ounce, while
platinum        gained 0.2% to $865.90.
    * Silver        was up 0.1% at $17.43 an ounce.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)    
0700 Germany Industrial Orders MM    Jan
0830 UK      Halifax House Prices MM Feb
1330 U.S.    Non-Farm Payrolls       Feb
1330 U.S.    Unemployment Rate       Feb
1330 U.S.    International Trade     Jan    

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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