By Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures prices firmed Thursday, trying for a fourth higher close in the last five sessions, as the dollar softened with central bank decision-making in sharp focus.
Gold hit a three-week high earlier this week as investors pared expectations for how aggressively the Federal Reserve would move to increase U.S. interest rates. The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee will hold their next meeting on Sept. 20-21; the European Central Bank meets today and the Bank of Japan meets later this month.
Early Thursday, December gold GCZ6, +0.04% gained $1.80, or 0.1%, to $1,350.90 an ounce. Gold had gained for three straight sessions before dipping for a lower settlement on Wednesday.
December silver SIZ6, +0.46% firmed 12 cents, or 0.6%, to $19.96 an ounce.
The ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.44%, a measure of the buck against a basket of currencies, fell 0.4% to 94.60.
The dollar could extend what have been narrow trading ranges as the ECB will deliver its latest monetary policy decision, due at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Conviction is growing that the central bank will prolong its asset-buying program beyond March 2017, but opinion is divided as to whether the move will come at Thursday’s meeting.