Gold Dips Ahead Of ECB Rate Decision, US Inflation Data

Gold prices fell on Thursday on a firmer U.S. dollar as investors awaited monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank for more clarity about its stimulus plans amid an improvement in the bloc's economic outlook.

Spot gold was down half a percent at $1,879.57 per ounce, after having hit one-week low of $1,875.89 earlier. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7 percent to $1,882.95 per ounce.

The ECB decision is due at 7:45 am ET, followed by press conference with chief Christine Lagarde at 8:30 am ET.

The central bank is expected to hold its main refi rate at a record low of zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.50 percent. The marginal lending facility rate is forecast to remain at 0.25 percent.

The increased bond purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program is expected to continue in order to prevent a surge in borrowing costs on financial markets.

The ECB will publish its new staff projections and it is forecast to raise the inflation outlook.

Also in focus is key U.S. inflation data, due out later in the day. The data is closely watched to assess the timing of Fed tapering and the prospect of interest rate hikes.

U.S. CPI for May, weekly jobless claims for the week ended June 5 and monthly budget statement for May all are scheduled for release in the New York session.

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