The risk-off sentiment continued, with the death toll from the virus reportedly rising to 80 people, cases confirmed in further countries including Australia and concerns about the ramifications for economic growth.
The gold price rose to about US$1,585 an ounce on the spot market earlier but was last worth about $1,580/oz.
Gold major Newmont's (NYSE: NEM) shares hit a one-year high intraday of $45.36 before closing up 0.6% yesterday to $44.56.
Gold miners surged in morning trade in Australia, with Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST), Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR), Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) and Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) all up more than 3% and Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR) rounding out the top five with a gain of 2.2%.
Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) was headed lower, down 7.9% at the time of writing, as the iron ore price fell and Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group slightly reduced its stake in the company.
Finally in Toronto, zinc miner Ascendant Resources (TSX: ASND) was one of the better performers yesterday with a 16.4% gain, despite no news since announcing a robust preliminary economic assessment for the Lagoa Salgada polymetallic project in Portugal mid-month.