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Gold Futures Snap 4-day Winning Streak, Settle Lower

Gold prices drifted lower on Tuesday, easing for the first time in five sessions, amid reports the spread of the coronavirus infection is slowing a bit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's pledge to win the fight against the coronavirus outbreak aided sentiment in global stock markets and pushed up values.

The dollar eased a bit after recent strong gains. The dollar index was down by about 0.1% at 98.74, easing from a high of 98.95 it had touched earlier in the session.

Gold futures for April ended down $9.40, or about 0.6%, at $1,570.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.188 at $17.597 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.5830 per pound, up $0.0325 from previous close.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of cases of the coronavirus infections rose to more than 43,000, with more than 1,000 deaths.

China's National Health Commission has stated that the number of new, confirmed cases in the country has dropped.

Traders also noted the Federal Reserve's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee today.

Powell said the central bank is closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus.

The Fed chair noted that some of the uncertainties around trade have diminished following the signing of the phase one U.S.-China trade deal but cautioned risks to the outlook remain.

"In particular, we are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy," he said.

However, Powell pointed out that the U.S. economy has recently appeared resilient to global headwinds, with economic activity increasing at a moderate pace over the second half of last year.

The Fed chief said the diminished uncertainty surrounding trade and signs global growth may be stabilizing led the central bank to leave interest rates unchanged at the last two monetary policy meetings.

Powell reiterated the Fed's belief that the current stance of monetary policy will likely remain appropriate as long as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with its outlook for continued growth.

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