Many economists expect a downward revision in the ECB staff's inflation forecasts, which could open the way for more stimulus such as an interest rate cut.
Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead to war.
On Wednesday gold posted its biggest daily fall since April 15 as traders frustrated by its failure to break above $1,315 took Putin's assertion that he was willing to negotiate over Ukraine as a signal to sell.
"If this conflict is going to calm down and the U.S. economy remains positive, it should be a positive environment for stocks and negative for gold, as investors go back to riskier markets where the return prospects are better than for gold," Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research, said.
Despite yesterday's price drop, buying interest among Chinese dealers on the Shanghai Gold Exchange was relatively muted overnight, Swiss bullion house MKS said in a note.
"The market was expecting them to come in as buyers, yet despite the SGE premium sitting at its highest point in some time ($3-4 premium over Loco London), it failed to attract any reasonable buying interest," it said.
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