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NEW YORK: Gold prices steadied below the key $1,900 an ounce level on Thursday as easing US Treasury yields offset upbeat US data that showed a recovery in the world’s largest economy was on track.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,896.76 per ounce by 1:53 p.m. EDT (1753 GMT). US gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,898.5.

“The US economy is on a solid trajectory for growth and the inflation argument has ebbed a bit because the Federal Reserve has had some success in convincing the marketplace that it is indeed just going to be transitory,” said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.

“So it’s just a pause from the recent uptrends. However, we shouldn’t be surprised to see some bargain hunters step in to buy the dip in prices later in the session.”

Data showed US new jobless claims dropped more than expected, while economic growth accelerated in the first quarter.

Benchmark US Treasury yields edged lower, translating into reduced opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. On the physical front, gold imports into top consumer China from Hong Kong and Switzerland surged in April. Palladium rose 2.3% to $2,806.67 per ounce, while silver gained 0.5% to $27.83 and platinum fell 1%, to $1,178.86.

Top producer Nornickel said a deficit in the palladium market could widen in 2021.

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