Gold Futures Tank, Record Worst Single-session Setback In Nearly 7 Years

Gold prices plunged sharply on Friday, extending losses to a fourth session and recording the biggest single-session drop in terms of percentage, since June 2013.

With riskier assets such as equities nosediving amid growing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, traders appeared to be looking to cash their investments in the safe-haven commodity.

Stock markets across the globe have been witnessing heavy selling in recent sessions, with many of them recording their worst spells in more than a decade, as investors fear a global recession due to the impact of the rapidly spreading coronavirus on several economies.

Gold futures for April ended down $75.80, or about 4.6%, at $1,566.70 an ounce.

On Thursday, Gold futures for April settled lower by $0.60, or about 0.04%, at $1,642.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for May ended down $1.278 at $16.457 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.5400 per pound, down $0.0315 from previous close.

A report from the Commerce Department showed personal income climbed by 0.6% in January after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1% in December. Economists had expected personal income to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.2% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, also increased by 0.6% in January after edging up by 0.1% in December.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said personal spending rose by 0.2% in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4% in December. Personal spending had been expected to rise by 0.3%, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly more than initially estimated in the month of February, revised data from the University of Michigan revealed.

The consumer sentiment index for February was upwardly revised to 101.0 from the preliminary reading of 100.9. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

With the unexpected upward revision, the consumer sentiment index for February is a little further above the final January reading of 99.8.

Chicago-area business activity saw only a slight contraction in the month of February, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer jumped to 49.0 in February from 42.9 in January, although a reading below 50 still indicates a contraction in regional business activity. Economists had expected the index to rise to 45.9.

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