February 11, 2020 / 1:38 AM / in 11 days

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as virus fears counter firmer equities

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Tuesday after climbing to a one-week peak in the previous session, as concerns about the coronavirus epidemic that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in China offset an uptick in equities.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was little changed at $1,570.98 per ounce by 0041 GMT. The metal touched its highest since Feb. 4 at $1,576.76 on Monday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,574.60.

* Asian shares inched higher on Tuesday, after U.S. stocks hit a record peak overnight, as investors assessed how quickly China’s factories could return to work as the coronavirus continues to spread and deaths mount.

* The U.S. dollar and Japanese yen were in demand as worries about the spread of the coronavirus sent investors to safe harbours.

* The U.S. economy is in good shape and the Federal Reserve should hold rates steady for the time being, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Monday.

* China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, reported 2,097 new cases and 103 new deaths on Feb. 10, the local health authority said on Tuesday.

* The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic but no new loans, the development lender’s president, David Malpass, said on Monday.

* More than 300 Chinese firms are seeking bank loans totalling at least 57.4 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to soften the impact of the coronavirus, two banking sources said.

* Shanta Gold said it had acquired Barrick subsidiary Acacia Exploration’s project in southwestern Kenya in a $14.5 million deal which gives the Tanzania-focused miner its first asset outside the country.

* Palladium remained unchanged at $2,353.00 an ounce, silver was flat at $17.75, and platinum edged higher by 0.3% to $963.19. DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT) 0930 UK GDP Estimate MM, 3M/3M, YY Dec 0930 UK Manufacturing Output MM Dec 0930 UK GDP Prelim QQ, YY Q4 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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