PRECIOUS-Gold rises on rising business impact of virus outbreak


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 (Adds graphic, updates prices)
    * Break above $1595-$1,600/oz could signal further gains-
    * Virus death toll in China up by 98 on Monday
    * Dollar rises to over four-month high

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Feb 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a two-week high on
Tuesday, spurred by demand for safe-havens after iPhone maker
Apple Inc's revenue warning underscored the financial fallout of
the coronavirus epidemic in China.
    Spot gold  XAU=  was up 0.4% at $1,586.93 per ounce by 0717
GMT. Earlier in the session, prices touched their highest since
Feb. 3 at $1,587.40. 
    U.S. gold futures  GCcv1  inched up 0.2% to $1,590.
    "Asian-Pacific markets have opened broadly lower. Investors
right now are very concerned about the economic impact of the
coronavirus, also on business sentiment and consumer demand,"
CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang Yan said.
    Apple has cut revenue forecast for the March quarter on the
disruption in China due to the virus and weaker demand from the
Chinese market, leading to a risk-off sentiment in the market,
she said.  
    Apple  AAPL.O  is one of the largest Western firms to be
hurt by the epidemic. 
    It said manufacturing facilities in China that produce
iPhone and other electronics have begun to reopen, but they are
ramping up more slowly than expected. That pushed U.S. stocks
futures as well as Asian shares lower.*:nL1N2AH0QL MKTS/GLOB 
    The death toll from the virus in mainland China rose by 98,
even as its spread slowed with the number of new cases falling
below 2,000 as of Monday. However, global experts warned it was
too early to say the outbreak is being contained.*:nL4N2AI00T*:nL4N2AI09D
    Meanwhile, China continued its effort to ease the drag to
the businesses, with its central bank cutting the interest rate
on its medium-term lending on Monday.*:nL4N2AH0NR
    On the technical front, "gold sits only 10 dollars or so
away from major resistance in the $1,595/1,600 an ounce region.
A daily close above this area would be a strong technical signal
that further gains lie ahead," Jeffrey Halley, senior market
analyst at OANDA, said in a note. 
    The U.S. dollar, also considered a safe-haven asset during
times of economical and political uncertainties,  .DXY  rose to
an over four-month high against key rivals.
    "Dollar and gold are negatively correlated, but at this
moment even though dollar is moving higher, gold is moving
higher and that means the demand for safety is outweighing the
currency impact on gold," CMC's Yan said.
    Elsewhere, palladium  XPD=  was flat at $2,522.79 an ounce
after hitting a near one-month peak of $2,538.25 earlier in the
    Silver  XAG=  advanced 0.6% to $17.86, while platinum  XPT= 
was up 0.5% to $973.49.

Gold versus dollar
 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan and Shreyansi Singh in
Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Aditya Soni)
 ((; within U.S. +1 646 223
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