Gold rose for a third straight session on Wednesday, hitting its highest in about two weeks, as positive rhetoric from US lawmakers regarding a stimulus bill to cushion the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak lifted investor sentiment.

The United States could become the global epicentre of the virus, the World Health Organization said, as India announced a full 24-hour, nationwide lockdown in the world’s second-most populous country.

Fatalities in Italy have surged in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday, dashing hopes the epidemic in the world’s worst-hit country was easing after more encouraging numbers in the previous two days.

The virus had infected more than 395,500 people across the world, as of Tuesday.

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