Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday, extending losses from previous session, despite lingering concerns about global growth amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Gold’s decline was also due to expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by at least 25 basis points in June this year.
The dollar index advanced to 99.14, gaining about 0.17%.
The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in South Korea topped 1,100 and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to more countries, raising concerns about the impact of the outbreak on global growth.
Mainland China had 406 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the country’s National Health Commission said, down from 508 cases a day earlier.
The United States alerted Americans on Tuesday to begin preparing for the “inevitable” spread of the coronavirus disease that is sweeping the world.
There are 53 confirmed cases in the United States, and officials are calling on Congress to urgently pass billions of dollars to fund the response effort.
Gold futures for April ended down $6.90, or about 0.4%, at $1,643.10 an ounce.
On Tuesday, gold futures for April ended down $26.60, or about 1.6%, at $1,650.00 an ounce.
Silver futures for May ended down $0.354 at $17.914 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.5735 per pound, down 0.0085 from previous close.
In economic news, data from the Commerce Department showed new home sales in the U.S. jumped to their highest level in over twelve years in the month of January.
The report said new home sales spiked by 7.9% to an annual rate of 764,000 in January after jumping by 2.3% to an upwardly revised rate of 708,000 in December.
Economists had expected new home sales to surge up by 2.3% to an annual rate of 710,000 from the 694,000 originally reported for the previous month.
With the much bigger than expected increase, new home sales reached their highest annual rate since hitting 778,000 in July of 2007.
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