Gold prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday, as concerns over the spread of a newly identified coronavirus variant boosted the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.
A weaker dollar and declining U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields also supported gold prices.
Spot gold climbed 1.1 percent to $1,808.05 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up as much as 1.4 percent at $1,809.60.
Equities tumbled and the 10-year U.S. yield dropped from 1.63 percent to 1.54 percent, as potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant saw investors dump riskier assets for the perceived safety of bonds.
As worries mount over the global spread of new Covid-19 variant that was first identified in South Africa, the U.K. and Israel temporarily suspended flights from six African countries to prevent the spread of the variant.
The variant, known as the B.1.1.529, was found to be different from previous versions and pose great concern, scientists warned.
It has an unusually high number of mutations and the World Health Organization has scheduled a meeting today to assess the new variant.
The new wave of Covid-19 outbreaks in Europe and inflation concerns also added to the global risk-off mood.