Gold slips on firmer dollar as markets wait for ECB decision, U.S. data

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Gold prices were on the back foot on Thursday as the dollar ticked higher, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of the European Central Bank meeting and U.S. inflation data later in the day.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,883.26 per ounce, as of 0545 GMT.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,888.20 per ounce.

The dollar index edged up slightly to trade near 90.189 against its rivals, making gold more expensive for other currency holders.

“The market is in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of US CPI and ECB outcome,” said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Mumbai-based broker Anand Rathi Shares.

“If CPI data comes on a higher side, its bearish for gold as talks of tapering will increase in the market and focus will shift to Q&A session of the Federal Reserve meeting next week.”

All eyes are on U.S. consumer price index data 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.

Investors are also tracking U.S. weekly jobless claims data, also due on Thursday, for more clues on labor market recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

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

“In the near-term, technically we still see gold prices reasonably well supported. Prices will continue to push through $1,900 and grind higher,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

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

Elsewhere, silver dipped 0.5% to $27.62 per ounce, palladium was steady at $2,777.89, while platinum slipped 1.2% to $1,136.53. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila)