Gold futures gained Thursday, taking to solid ground after mixed trading initially surrounded the Federal Reserve’s revelation Wednesday that it will likely raise interest rates more aggressively in 2018 than previously signaled.

Now, attention turns fully to the European Central Bank’s policy update Thursday, with market expectations that the panel will update plans for its quantitative easing program, a development with implications across currency markets and, accordingly, for precious metals.

Ahead of that announcement, August gold GCQ8, +0.46%[1]  was up $7, or 0.5%, to $1,308.30 an ounce. Gold prices settled with a modest gain on Wednesday, then fell back under the closely monitored $1,300-an-ounce level in electronic trading[2], in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to lift a key interest rate.

Gold gained Thursday as the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.30%[3] a measure of the dollar against a half-dozen major currencies, was down 0.2% at 93.33[4].

Rising rates can diminish the appetite for assets like gold because the commodity doesn’t offer a yield compared against the perceived safety of other assets like government bonds. Higher U.S. interest rates can also boost the dollar and dull demand for dollar-denominated commodities.

But the rate differential between the U.S. and the ECB will be in the spotlight on Thursday.The €30 billion-a-month, post-crisis bond buys are slated to run at least until the end of September, but the ECB could extend it...

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