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Gold Prices Fall as WHO Says New Virus is Not International Emergency

By Alex Ho - Gold prices fell on Friday in Asia after the World Health Organization said the new coronavirus does not yet constitute a global emergency.

Gold Futures dropped 0.3% to 1,560.45 by 1:15 AM ET (05:15 GMT).

The WHO said the virus remained a local crisis for now.

“Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general, said at a briefing in Geneva Thursday. “It may yet become one.”

However, traders remained cautious as some fear the virus will continue to spread during the Lunar New Year holidays, a peak travel season of the year.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting.

Loose monetary policy will continue at least until the end of the year.

"It will be a whole host of things," ECB President Christine Lagarde told a press conference on Thursday. "It will have to do with how we deliver, how we measure what tools we have and how we communicate."

Lagarde also said risks to the central bank’s growth outlook remained "tilted to the downside."

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