Gold firm on weaker dollar ahead of ECB meeting

Gold edged up slightly on Thursday, with the U.S. dollar weaker as markets waited for clues on the future of the European Central Bank’s asset purchase program later in the day.

Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,175.49 an ounce by 0043 GMT. It gained 0.4 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were nearly flat at $1,177 an ounce.

The ECB will extend its already generous asset buys on Thursday, aiming to boost stubbornly weak price growth, but with much of its firepower exhausted it may also debate sending a token signal about the eventual end of such purchases.

The euro held firm near a three-week high versus the dollar on Thursday, as investors turned their attention to the ECB meeting, and as the greenback was dragged down by a drop in U.S. bond yields.

Interest rates on U.S. fixed-rate mortgages rose to their highest levels in more than two years, sending weekly home loan application activity to its weakest since early January, Mortgage Bankers Association data released on Wednesday showed.

China’s gold reserves totaled 59.24 million fine troy ounces at the end of November, unchanged from a month earlier.

Chile has rejected an attempt by local communities to block modifications needed to keep Barrick Gold’s controversial Pascua Lama project alive, a resolution by the ministerial committee involved showed on Wednesday.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.72 percent to 863.67 tonnes on Wednesday from Tuesday.

Credit Suisse on Wednesday revised its 2017 gold price to $1,338 per ounce from its prior view of $1,438.

Source: Reuters