Gold Back in Play for $1,700 as Virus Fears Energize Safe Havens

Authored by Barani Krishnan via – Beaten back from its earlier shot at $1,700, gold found vigor again Thursday as U.S. authorities raced to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the world’s largest economy, prompting investors to rush into safe havens.

Gold futures and spot prices of bullion rose more than 1% each, climbing the key $1,650 hurdle after California declared a state of emergency amid the outbreak that has killed 11 Americans so far and infected more than 100 others.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 plunged about 3% while the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six currencies, slipped 0.5%, facilitating gold’s path toward another attempt at the $1,700 target, which it missed by less than $10 last month.

Gold futures for April delivery on New York’s COMEX settled up $25.30, or 1.5%, at $1,666.40 per ounce. It earlier hit a 10-day high of $1,674.55.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was at $1,673.41, up $36.32, or 2.2%. The session high was $1,673.78. 

“The anti-dollar theme is reemerging,” TD Securities said in a note on gold. “Market structure is driving equity prices in the aftermath of February's coronavirus carnage in equity markets (and ) a tradable theme has yet to emerge on this front.”