Gold futures contracts closed higher on Thursday, 23, at the highest level since January 7, amid a search for security in the market, due to the new coronavirus identified in China and which has already spread to at least least eight other countries.

According to the Global Times, China has already registered 644 cases of people infected with the coronavirus and 18 dead. The Asian country also canceled major events to celebrate the Lunar New Year to try to stem the spread of the virus, according to the Beijing Daily. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is still no need to declare a global emergency. The agency also said there was no evidence of transmission of the coronavirus by human contact outside China.