NEWS / ASIA
Gold price at seven-year high on coronavirus fears
The price of gold has surged to its highest level in seven years as worries about the coronavirus led investors to seek a safe place for their money.
Gold prices climbed more than 2% on Monday to levels not seen since February 2013.
The price for immediate delivery went as high as $1,678.58 an ounce before falling back slightly.
Meanwhile, stock markets in Europe opened lower, with London's FTSE 100 down more than 2% in early trading.
Milan's main index was worst hit, falling more than 4%. Italy has seen Europe's worst outbreak of the coronavirus and the government has announced a series of drastic measures, with a lockdown in place in several small towns.
Frankfurt's Dax index and the Paris Cac-40 both fell more than 3%.
Analysts said the gold price could breach the $1,700 barrier soon.
"Gold has finally established some serious momentum," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at online trading platform Oanda.
At the same time, oil prices fell more than 3% on Monday, as investors worried about a fall in demand following the temporary factory closures due to the virus. The price of Brent crude dropped by nearly $2 to $56.57 a barrel.