PRECIOUS-Gold falls from near 7-yr peak as China acts to support economy – by Sumita Layek (Reuters U.K. – February 20, 2020)

Feb 20 (Reuters) – Gold edged lower on Thursday after China announced more measures to limit the economic impact from coronavirus epidemic, although a rise in number of new cases in South Korea kept bullion close to a near seven-year peak.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,610.31 per ounce, as of 1049 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,613.30. Gold rose to its highest since March 2013 at $1,612.62 in the previous session on concerns of the economic impact of the virus outbreak.

“We are seeing some profit taking after the last run up in the prices … overall the environment is very favourable for gold prices,” said SP Angel analyst Sergey Raevskiy.

Even as the number of new coronavirus cases in China slowed, a spike in new infections and a first death in South Korea intensified fears that the disease could spread more widely.

“As long as the coronavirus problem is in the headlines, gold prices will be very well supported at current levels, if the situation deteriorates prices can even go higher,” Raevskiy said.

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