(Reuters) Gold prices moved in a tight range on Wednesday, with recessionary fears lending some support to the safe-haven asset, while investors sought more clarity on the Federal Reserve's rate-hike trajectory from U.S. economic data due this week.
Spot gold held its ground at $1,997.40 per ounce by 0307 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $2,008.60.
Investors seemed reluctant to offload their gold holdings amid weak U.S. economic data, and "trading conditions will remain choppy, and any dips towards $1,950 could be snapped up," said Matt Simpson, a senior market analyst at City Index.
Data on Tuesday showed U.S. 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.
Recessionary fears already seem to be providing a floor for gold prices, and "Friday's personal consumption expenditures report will likely pack the biggest punch for gold," Simpson added.
The dollar index eased, making gold less expensive for overseas buyers.
U.S. quarterly gross domestic product data scheduled for Thursday followed by the reading on the core PCE index on Friday will be closely watched by investors ahead of the Fed's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee meeting on May 2-3.
Market participants expect the Fed to hike interest rates by 25 basis points.
Although gold is considered a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty, higher interest rates dim the non-yielding asset's appeal.
Australian inflation, meanwhile, eased from 33-year highs in the first quarter as the cost of living saw the smallest rise in more than a year, while core inflation dipped below forecasts, suggesting less pressure for another hike in interest rates.
Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.2% to $25.00 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.7% to $1,094.08.
Palladium gained 1.1% to $1,499.47, on track to snap two session of losses, if gains hold.