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Gold Extends 7-Year High in Race for Virus Hedge

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com - There seems to be little in the way of the Gold Express.

Both bullion and futures hit seven-year highs on Thursday, extending the rally to eight days. Golds’ run could produce the best weekly gain in nearly two months as fears of global contagion emerged from the virus pandemic in China.

“The price of gold is a barometer of our economic and political wellbeing and, for now, lack of information on the effects of coronavirus globally,” said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

“Usually, event-driven rallies bring some profit-taking but for now reluctant sellers are staying put” Gero added.

Gold futures for April delivery on New York’s COMEX settled up $8.20, or 0.5%, at $1,620.50 per ounce. The session high of $1,626.35 was the highest since February 2013.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion was up $9.44, or 0.6%, at $1,620.78 by 3:20 PM ET (20:20 GMT). Bullion earlier rose to a seven-year high of $1,623.76.

On a weekly basis, COMEX gold was up 2.4%, the biggest weekly advance since Dec. 29.

Gold rose as stocks on Wall Street fell on concerns that the coronavirus’ spread beyond China will take a heavy toll on corporate earnings. Japan reported two deaths and South Korea confirmed its first fatality from the disease, even as China cited a slowdown in new cases. Gold’s rival, the dollar, also surged on Thursday, joining the safe-haven pack for investors queasy about fallout from the virus.

Wall Street banks said they saw little in the way of gold’s rampant run.

“So far ... gold has demonstrated its safe-haven qualities and we stay long the metal,” UBS analysts led by Wayne Gordon said in a note.

UBS has a forecast for gold topping $1,650 in the coming weeks, while Citigroup (NYSE:C) raised its six-to-12-month target to $1,700 per ounce, saying gold could top the $2,000 level in the next 12 to 24 months.

The record high for gold so far is $1,920.

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