May 6, 2015 / 10:36 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold down as strong U.S. yields offset weaker dollar

* Dollar under pressure after weak U.S. jobs data

* U.S. bond yields at two-month highs (Updates prices, adds comment)

By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina

NEW YORK/LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) - Gold edged down on Wednesday, as the impact of higher U.S. real yields counteracted the effects of a sharply weaker dollar, soft U.S. data and doubts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its June meeting.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,190.01 an ounce by 3:10 p.m. EDT (1910 GMT), while U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down $2.90 at $1,190.30 an ounce.

Gold, which pays no interest, was under pressure from a two-month high in the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield .

“U.S. real yields, which correlate the most to the gold price, have risen,” Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said.

“That’s what’s driving gold prices,” he said, adding that he expected the Fed to raise rates earlier than the market currently anticipates.

The dollar fell 1 percent against a basket of currencies, after a sluggish U.S. jobs report added to the view that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates at a policy meeting in June, a factor that could boost demand for bullion.

“A weaker dollar is obviously a supportive factor,” Danske Bank senior analyst Jens Pedersen said.

“The uncertain factor for gold is whether there will be more dollar strength on the back of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve, which we see happening in September.”

Fed officials have given conflicting signals this week on the possible timing of any rate increase, providing no clarity on the issue.

Investors are now awaiting Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, which will give a better read of the world’s largest economy and clues on the timing of a rate hike.

Spot gold has remained below the key $1,200 level since falling below it last week.

“We believe $1,200 represents an important support for gold due to the supply and demand responses that are triggered whenever the price falls below this level,” Capital Economics said in a note.

“Admittedly, prices could break sharply below $1,200 if the gold market reacts particularly badly to higher U.S. interest rates.”

In a sign the world’s second-biggest bullion consumer was moving closer to creating a benchmark price, China conducted trial runs for the planned launch of a yuan-denominated gold fix last month, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Silver was down 0.4 percent at $16.46 an ounce. Platinum XPT=> fell 0.4 percent at $1,138 an ounce, while palladium was down 0.1 percent at $788.75 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Ruth Pitchford and Meredith Mazzilli)

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