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Market round-up: indices fall, oil slumps and gold prices continue ascent

By Francis Jay

Signs that coronavirus spread is being curbed doesn’t stop the precious metal rising

Gold prices show no sign of slowing down as the week comes to a close. At 11.10am EST continuous NYMEX prices had climbed 1.47 per cent to $1,644.40 an ounce, up more than $60 since trading began on Monday this week. London-based gold mining firm Petropavlovsk's shares closed up 11.81 per cent.

The scale of the coronavirus continues to put pressure on the yellow metal despite various pieces of data indicating that the outbreak is being successfully contained.

Oil prices had a far more volatile week with Crude WTI down 1.54 per cent to around $53 a barrel after Thursday’s peak of $54.

Most indices were down with the NASDAQ falling 1.24 per cent, the S&P by 0.89 per cent and the Dow by 0.74 per cent in the US.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was down 0.44 per cent at 7,403.92 and the pound rose 0.68 per cent against the dollar.

Asian indices held up slightly better in comparison. The Nikkei 225 was down 0.39 per cent, the Hang Seng was down 1.09 per cent and the Shanghai Composite closed up by 0.31 per cent.

Cryptocurrencies had a relatively positive day against the dollar. Ethereum surged 2.97 per cent and Bitcoin rose by 1.18 per cent to $9,726.70. Ripple was also up 1.9 per cent.

The euro also gained 0.69 per cent against the dollar while the STOXX 600 fell 2.12 points to 428.07. The German DAX was down 0.62 per cent at 13,579.33 and the CAC 40 dropped 32.58 points, closing at 6,029.72.

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