Gold subdued with focus on U.S. data, ECB meeting

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Gold prices were on the back foot on Thursday as the dollar ticked higher but traded in a narrow range as investors turned cautious ahead of the European Central Bank meeting and U.S. inflation data later in the day.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,886.66 per ounce, as of 0305 GMT.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,888.50 per ounce.

“Sentiment is neutral and cautious going into CPI and the ECB meeting tonight,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda, adding that investors expect inflation to be contained, which is keeping a lid on the metal’s price.

The dollar index edged up slightly to trade near 90.183 against its rivals, making gold more expensive for other currency holders.

All eyes on U.S. consumer price index data due later in the day after last month’s report showed consumer prices increased by the most in nearly 12 years in April. Economists polled by Reuters have estimated the CPI advanced 0.4% in May.

The data will be a key for gold as a higher print will reignite worries over sooner-than-expected tapering of stimulus measures which would reduce bullion’s appeal among investors, analysts say.

The ECB policy decision is due at 1145 GMT. The ECB is all but certain to maintain a generous flow of stimulus when policymakers meet.

On the technical front, spot gold still targets a range of $1,864-$1,877 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.6% on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, silver dipped 0.2% to $27.68 per ounce, palladium was steady at $2,777.02, while platinum slipped 0.6% to $1,142.93. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila)