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Gold tumbled as much as 4.5 per cent on Friday as investors embarked on a selling spree to hoard cash and meet margin calls across other markets which have been battered by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Palladium slid nearly 11 per cent, a day after a 28 per cent plunge, headed for its biggest weekly percentage decline on record.

Spot gold slid 4 per cent to $US1,513.11 per ounce. For the week, it was down more than 9 per cent, the most since 1983. US gold futures settled down 4.6 per cent at $US1,516.70.

“While equity markets continue to be under pressure and there is a push towards liquidity across the markets, it wouldn’t be unusual for gold prices to sell off as well,” Standard Chartered Bank analyst Suki Cooper said.

“In the near-term, gold could see further downside because of the need to meet margin calls across other markets and if investors are preferring to move to cash and reduce risk exposure across the board.”

Bullion has lost nearly $US200 an ounce since hitting more than a seven-year high of $US1,702.56 per ounce on Monday.

Denting bullion’s safe-haven appeal, the dollar jumped 1.2 per cent.

On the physical side, major Asian hubs saw activity dwindle due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, especially in the world’s biggest gold consumer, China.

Palladium tumbled 7 per cent to $US1,705.50 per ounce, and was headed for a weekly decline of about 34 per cent.

Platinum dropped 1.5 per cent to $US751.50, headed for its biggest weekly loss ever.

Silver fell 8.8 per cent to $US14.43, putting it on track for its biggest weekly decline since 2011.