* Dow & S&P 500 close at record high again
* U.S. jobs growth gathering strength in June -ADP
* Dollar rises, bonds fall on upbeat ADP jobs data
* Oil prices fall on supply, gold edges higher (Adds late U.S. market action)
By Richard Leong
NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) - Major stock markets held near record highs on Wednesday on signs of an improving global economy and continued central bank support, while the dollar and bond yields rose on an upbeat report on U.S. employment.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index closed at record highs for a second straight day, although the Dow failed again to reach the 17,000 milestone.
Evidence of faster economic growth also supported gold prices, though they were below a three-month peak set on Tuesday.
Oil prices in London fell to their lowest in nearly three weeks on a possible substantial recovery in Libyan exports after rebels said they would reopen two oil terminals.
“Equity investors are anticipating growth,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. “The economic background is improving. That’s why you are seeing bonds sell off.”
The latest evidence the U.S. economy has recovered from its first-quarter contraction was 281,000 new jobs in the U.S. private sector last month, according to payroll processor ADP. That was the strongest monthly gain in 1-1/2 years, bolstering views of a stronger-than-expected government payrolls reading in June, due at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) on Thursday.
While the world’s biggest economy has regained steady footing, the U.S. Federal Reserve has shown no hints it will raise interest rates from near zero until the second half of 2015 at the earliest.
Investors also awaited a meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday to provide more guidance after data showed euro-zone industrial prices fell for a fifth consecutive month in May.
The Dow rose 20.17 points or 0.12 percent, to 16,976.24, the S&P 500 gained 1.30 points or 0.07 percent, to 1,974.62 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.917 point or 0.02 percent, to 4,457.734.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 equity index ended 0.2 percent higher at 1,385.09. Tokyo’s Nikkei closed up 0.3 percent.
The MSCI world equity index rose 0.2 percent to 432.11 after hitting a record high of 432.47 earlier.
The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasuries notes rose to the highest in 1-1/2 weeks at 2.625 percent.
In currency trading, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, rose 0.17 percent to 79.949.
Among commodities, spot gold prices rose 0.07 percent at $1,326.36 an ounce in late U.S. trading.
Brent crude settled down $1.05, or 0.94 percent, at $111.24 a barrel. U.S. crude settled down 86 cents, or 0.82 percent, at $104.48 per barrel. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Additional reporting by Lionel Laurent, Anirban Nag and Alistair Smout in London; Editing by Toby Chopra and Dan Grebler)