Gold prices eased on Monday as the dollar rebounded with Treasuries amid worries that shutdowns related to the outbreak could last for months.
Spot gold slid 0.4 percent to $1,625.20 per ounce, after closing 0.7 percent lower on Friday. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,648.40.
Recession worries returned to the fore as Spain became the third country to surpass China in coronavirus infections after the United States and Italy.
Together, Spain and Italy have registered around half of the world’s total COVID-19 deaths, which according to Johns Hopkins University, have crossed 34,000.
As new infections in U.S. soar, the White House on Sunday warned that a total of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could eventually succumb to the virus in a worst-case scenario in two weeks coinciding with Easter weekend.
“It’s possible. It’s entirely possible that would happen if we don’t mitigate. What we’re trying to do is to not let that happen,” America’s top infectious diseases doctor, Anthony Fauci said at a White House briefing in the Rose Garden on Sunday.
The pandemic has already driven the global economy into recession and countries must respond with “very massive” spending to avoid a cascade of bankruptcies and emerging market debt defaults, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Friday.