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PRECIOUS-Gold falls as U.S. Treasury yields firm; all eyes on Fed rate decision

    April 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Wednesday, pulled
down by firmer U.S. Treasury yields with investors looking out
for policy cues from the Federal Reserve's meeting, while
palladium eased after hitting a record peak in the previous
session. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was down 0.5% at $1,767.76 per ounce by
0131 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were down 0.5% at $1,770.00
per ounce.
    * Palladium        fell 0.6% to $2,924.12 per ounce, after
hitting an all-time high of $2,962.50 on Tuesday.
    * Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields             rose to
their highest since April 15, increasing the opportunity cost of
holding non-yielding bullion.      
    * The dollar index        rose 0.1% against its rivals,
making gold less appealing for other currency holders.       
    * Market participants awaited the U.S. Fed's statement due
later in the day, for cues on the central bank's monetary
policy.                          
    * Japanese retail sales rose at the fastest pace in five
months in March as consumer demand recovered from the huge hit
it took from the COVID-19 pandemic last year.             
    * U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in
April as increased vaccinations against COVID-19 and additional
fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen,
boosting demand and hiring by companies.             
    * Analysts and traders have slashed their gold price
forecasts, with many believing a return to last year's record
highs is unlikely as economic recovery tarnishes the safe-haven
metal's appeal, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.             
    * Senior U.S. officials on Tuesday pledged sustained support
for India in helping it deal with the world's worst current
surge of COVID-19 infections.             
    * Silver        fell 0.9% to $26.00 per ounce. Platinum
       was down 1% at $1,216.75. 
            
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600  Germany    GfK Consumer Sentiment         May
0645  France     Consumer Confidence            April
1800  US         Federal Open Market Committee announces its
                 interest rate decision followed by statement

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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