April 26 (Reuters) – Gold eased back on Wednesday as yields recovered with the focus returning to upcoming economic data, after briefly breaking above USD 2,000 spurred by fresh worries surrounding the US banking turmoil.
Spot gold fell 0.6% to USD 1,985.80 per ounce by 12:25 p.m. EDT (16:25 GMT) after jumping as high as USD 2,009.32 earlier. US gold futures slipped 0.4% to USD 1,996.20.
First Republic Bank’s (FRC) shares hit a record low after a report said the US government was unwilling to intervene in the rescue process for the troubled lender.
“That was the catalyst for gold prices to revisit slightly higher levels,” said Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities.
But overall, trend-following algorithms have effectively reached their maximum long positions, Ghali added.
Benchmark US Treasury yields recovered from a near two-week low, raising the opportunity cost of holding zero-yield bullion.
Gold declined despite the dollar shedding 0.4%, while investors also took stock of upbeat risk sentiment driven by strong earnings.
Traders were now focused on US quarterly GDP data due on Thursday, followed by the core personal consumption expenditures index on Friday, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.
Markets had priced in about a 3-in-4 chance of the US central bank raising rates by 25 basis points at its May 2-3 meeting.
Those odds were lower due to “resurgent fears that there’s always more than one cockroach when it comes to the US regional banking crisis,” Ghalli said.
Safe-haven gold scaled an over one-year peak at USD 2,048.71 mid-April as the US banking crisis unfolded.
“Retail, discretionary traders and the like remain very underexposed, a source of dry powder, especially if the market ramps up rate cut expectations,” said Paul Wong, market strategist at Sprott Asset Management.
Silver was down about 1% to USD 24.8 an ounce, platinum gained 0.2% to USD 1,088.50 and palladium rose 1.9% to USD 1,511.23.
(Reporting by Deep Vakil and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)