This week, the U.S. stock indices heading lower on Friday, as a spike in new coronavirus cases in China & elsewhere around the globe, sent many investors running for safer assets such as gold, silver & government bonds.
Several U.S. firms are warning investors that Q1 sales will take a hit from the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Apple is 1 example. At a market valuation of $1.4T, Apple put out a surprise investor update, stating it no longer expects to meet the revenue guidance, provided only last month. Stores have been closed in China & the firm is facing supply chain issues there with iPhone production.
China’s Shanghai Index closed Thursday +1.84% as the PBOC lowered its benchmark lending rates, cutting its 1-year loan prime rate from 4.15% to 4.05% & the 5-year rate from 4.80% to 4.75%. Follows the central bank’s decision on Monday to lower interest rates on its 1-year medium-term lending facility – funds the PBOC lends to financial institutions – from 3.25% to 3.15%.
Gold prices remain above $1,600 an ounce on Thursday, reaching a new 7 year high on investor concerns the coronavirus outbreak will hurt global growth. Traders also weigh in on a possible rate cut from the U.S. Federal Reserve before year-end. Gold holdings in global exchange-traded funds backed by bullion, have risen to a fresh record, & are on course for a 6th weekly expansion.
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