Gold prices fell 1 per cent on Tuesday, retreating from the last session's jump above the key $1,700 level, as hopes for global stimulus measures to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak lifted riskier assets and the dollar.
Spot gold declined 0.7 per cent to $1,668.24 per ounce by 0304 GMT, having touched its highest since December 2012 at $1,702.56 on Monday on mounting concerns over the global spread of the virus. US gold futures lost 0.4 per cent to $1,668.50.
"Markets are getting a little bit edgy. Risk is turning on due to the fiscal policy measures out of the United States and Japan, which is negative for gold over the short term," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp.
US President Donald Trump said he will be taking "major" steps to gird the economy against the outbreak's impact and discuss a payroll tax cut with congressional Republicans.
Japanese Economy Minister said the global spread of the virus was affecting the domestic economy significantly, and that the government would adopt necessary and adequate steps without hesitation.
A senior official from Japan's Ministry of Finance said they are in contact with the Trump administration, who are compiling an economic package.
"This is just the beginning of the so called domino effect and I would expect the rest of Asian governments to follow in lock steps with similar packages," Innes said.
Asian shares bounced and bond yields rose from historic lows, while the dollar rose 0.5 per cent against key rivals, making gold costlier for investors using other currencies. The safe-haven yen retreated from a more than three-year high touched in the previous session.
The significant fiscal response of the United States might alleviate investor concerns about the economic growth outlook, which is negative for bullion, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Meanwhile, Italy ordered everyone across the country not to move around other than for work and emergencies, while banning all public gatherings. The total number of coronavirus infected people touched 111,600 globally by Monday, including 80,754 in Mainland China.
Palladium rose 0.9 per cent to $2,513.63 per ounce, having touched a near one-month low in the previous session.
Silver gained 0.2 per cent to $17.01 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.3 per cent to $873.58.