Gold steady as investors eye US data for economic cues
* Spot gold held its ground at $1,999.09 per ounce by 0042 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.3% to $2,010.20.
* The dollar index eased 0.1%, making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
* Data on Tuesday showed US consumer confidence dropped to a nine-month low in April as worries about the future mounted, further heightening the risk that the economy could fall into recession this year.
* Sales of new US single-family homes jumped to a one-year high in March, likely as a retreat in mortgage rates boosted demand.
* The US central bank’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee will meet on May 2-3. * Although gold is considered a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty, higher interest rates dim the non-yielding asset’s appeal.
* Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell by their largest amount since March on Tuesday, while short-term yields climbed as balanced investors rising concerns about the regional banking sector and the possibility of an imminent recession with worries about the US debt ceiling.
* First Republic Bank faces dwindling and tough options to turn around its business with the creation of a ‘bad bank’ or asset sales possibilities, a source familiar with the matter said, after the lender showed the extent of deposit flight during last month’s banking crisis .
* Spot silver ticked 0.1% higher to $25.06 per ounce, platinum rose 0.7% to $1,094.12, and palladium climbed 1% to $1,498.95. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 Australia CPI QQ, YY Q1 1000 France Unemp Class-A SA March 1230 US Durable Goods March
(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)