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Gold Slips As Coronavirus Worries Ebb

Gold prices fell slightly on Wednesday as equities rose amid hopes the coronavirus outbreak in China may be starting to plateau.

Hopes of additional stimulus measures from China as well as recent data indicating continued strength in the U.S. economy also helped improve demand for riskier assets.

Spot gold slid 0.2 percent to $1,564.79 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.15 percent at $1,567.85.

According to data through Tuesday, the growth rate of new coronavirus cases in China has slowed to the lowest since Jan. 30.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him the deadly virus will be gone by April as temperatures begin rising.

The new outbreak is hitting a peak and may be over by April, Zhong Nanshan, an 83-year-old epidemiologist who won fame for combating the SARS epidemic in 2003, said in an interview with Reuters.

The optimism comes as the death toll from the epidemic climbed past 1,100 and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a "very grave threat for the rest of the world".

The WHO has named the disease caused by the virus as COVID-19, avoiding any animal or geographic designation to avoid stigmatization and to show the disease comes from a new coronavirus discovered in 2019.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. economy is in a good place, despite a potential threat from the coronavirus outbreak in China.

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