Gold futures ended higher on Friday, extending gains from previous session, as continued worries about the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy prompted traders to seek the safe haven asset.
A report from China’s National Health Commission showed an additional 121 deaths in China and nearly 5,100 new cases of the virus across the mainland on Thursday.
Till Thursday, the virus has killed about 1,380 people in mainland China, according to the commission’s report.
The dollar was quite sluggish against most of its rivals. The dollar index was little changed at 99.08 around mid afternoon.
Gold futures for April ended up $7.60, or about 0.5%, at $1,586.40 an ounce.
On Thursday, gold futures for April ended up $7.20, or 0.5%, at $1,578.80 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.115 at $17.734 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.6130 per pound, gaining $0.0130.
In U.S. economic news, a report from the Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3% in January after edging up by a downwardly revised 0.2% in December. Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.3%, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.
Excluding sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.3% in January after climbing by 0.6% in December. Ex-auto sales were also expected to increase by 0.3%.
A report released by the Labor Department showed U.S. import prices were unchanged in January after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2% in December. Economists had expected import prices to dip by 0.2% compared to the 0.3% increase originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said export prices climbed by 0.7% in January after slipping by 0.2% in December. Export prices had been expected to edge down by 0.1%.
A report from the University of Michigan showed the consumer sentiment index rose to 100.9 in February from the final January reading of 99.8. The uptick surprised economists, who had expected the index to edge down to 99.5.