2020.02.2610:11:00UTC+00Gold Prices Rise After US Warning On Spread Of Virus

Gold prices rose on Wednesday amid worries that the coronavirus could spread rapidly across the world and become a pandemic.

Spot gold climbed 0.85 percent to $1,649.08, after having fallen as much as 1.9 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were marginally higher at $1,651.35.

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.

The flu-like virus has now spread to several countries in Europe and the Middle East, with Switzerland, Austria and Romania reporting their first infections on Tuesday.

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.

Investors are pinning hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut rates by at least 25 basis points at its June meeting.

Meanwhile, 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.

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