PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors gauge coronavirus economic impact

Reuters

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 (Updates prices)
    * Gold on track for a weekly rise
    * Gold to be stuck in range of $1,550-$1,580/oz -analyst
    * Gold in euros hits record peak of 1,456.07 euros/ounce
    * Palladium up over 5% for the week so far

    By Sumita Layek
    Feb 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Friday after
easing from a more than one-week high as investors assessed the
risks to the global economy from the coronavirus epidemic.
    Spot gold  XAU=  was little changed at $1,576.43 an ounce at
1227 GMT, having earlier touched its highest since Feb. 4 at
$1,577.89. For the week, bullion has so far gained about 0.4%.
    U.S. gold futures  GCcv1  were flat at $1,579.60.
    Chinese authorities on Thursday reported 121 new deaths and
5,000 new coronavirus cases in mainland China with economists
scaling back growth expectations for the world's second-largest
economy as they assess the impact of the outbreak. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2AE0RT
    "The economic impact of the measures taken (by China) should
not be underestimated; the workers are returning very slowly to
their factories, supply chains are probably disrupted ...  we
see quite a drag on the Chinese growth in the first-quarter,"
said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.
    However, European shares touched record highs as investors
shrugged off fears about the outbreak's global economic impact
and the dollar  .DXY  hit a more than four-month peak against a
basket of rivals, limiting gold's advance.  MKTS/GLOB  USD/ 
    Gold in euros  XAUEUR=R  eased slightly from a record peak
of 1,456.07 euros per ounce hit earlier in the session.
    Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Chinese
company Huawei of stealing trade secrets. Washington had placed
the telecoms equipment maker on a trade blacklist last year.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2AD1BH    
    "All the geopolitical concerns that took gold prices higher
are still with us ... even the U.S.-China Phase 1 deal is being
affected by the virus to some extent. We have still got
potential tensions in the Middle East and the U.S. elections are
coming up," INTL FCStone analyst Rhona O'Connell said.
    "Gold prices are stuck between a range of $1,550- $1,580 an
ounce and at the moment I see nothing that will take it out of
there."
    Among other precious metals, palladium  XPD=  rose 0.8% to
$2,443.72 an ounce, and was on track to register its best week
since the week ended Jan. 17, gaining more than 5%. 
    Silver  XAG=  meanwhile gained 0.3% to $17.68, while
platinum  XPT=  was up 0.4% at $971.83, and was set to gain for
a second straight week.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander
Smith and David Evans)
 ((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780,
Outside U.S. +91 8061822693; Reuters Messaging:
Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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