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Gold Crashes 4% Below $1,600 As Coronavirus Wreaks Market Havoc

February 28, 2020 at 17:16 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are cratering at the end of the trading week, mirroring the rest of the market performance in recent sessions. Despite the yellow metal being a traditional safe-haven for these types of events, investors are not pouring their money into any of the precious metals on Friday. Is there any refuge for the $6 trillion that went off this week?

April gold futures crashed $59.80, or 3.65%, to $1,582.70 per ounce at 15:16 GMT on Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices will settle the week down just under 4%, but they are still up more than 4% year-to-date. Gold is poised for another monthly gain of 3%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also plunging to end the chaotic trading week. March silver futures fell $1.04, or 5.86%, to $16.695 an ounce. The white metal will record a weekly loss of 9.5%, bringing its 2020 decline to 7%.

Analysts note that the dramatic fall in gold prices is due to profit-selling after the metal commodity surged to its best level in seven years.

The yellow metal is sliding primarily on speculation that the Federal Reserve and other central banks will cut interest rates to stop the bleeding. While the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has responded to the coronavirus with fiscal and monetary stimulus, other central banks have been hesitant on pulling the trigger on easing. St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard suggested that the data does not warrant a response by the Fed, though he did not rule out acting should the situation intensify.

Health authorities have elevated its threat assessment to a “very high” risk. The World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement soon after it was reported that Mexico and Nigeria reported the first cases of the coronavirus, triggering fears that it would spread throughout Africa and Latin America.

A weaker US dollar slightly capped gold’s drop as the greenback shed 0.16% to 98.35, from an opening of 98.42. A lower buck is good for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

In other metal markets, April copper futures tumbled $0.015, or 0.62%, to $2.555 a pound. April platinum futures declined $37.80, or 4.17%, to $867.80 per ounce. April palladium futures cratered $201.70, or 7.44%, to $2,510.00 per ounce.

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