PRECIOUS-Gold edges up, wary Asian buyers hold back

* Dollar retreats from 2-week high after U.S. data

* Physical trade slow, jewellers eye further drop in prices

(Updates prices, adds comment)

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Thursday due to a steady dollar, but remained well below the previous day's four-month high as buyers of coins, bars and jewellery in Asian markets held off in expectation of a further price drop.

The U.S. currency held just below a two-week high against a basket of major currencies, paring earlier gains as a better-than-expected read on U.S. durable goods offset a rise in weekly jobless claims.

Concerns over the future of Ukraine had helped the dollar to its biggest one-day rise in about a month, prompting gold selling after the metal hit its highest since Oct. 30 in Asian trading hours.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,331.39 an ounce at 1502 GMT, well off that session's high of $1,345.35 an ounce.

"There are still concerns that weakness in the U.S. economy is still going to spill over into March because of the cold weather that we have seen throughout February," Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Lewis said.

"My sense is that gold may still have a bit more upside to run, but we still have that strong dollar, strong U.S. growth view, which will weigh the metal down in the longer term."

A spate of below-consensus U.S. data has curbed expectations that the Federal Reserve will step up tapering of its bullion-friendly monthly bond-buying programme, which prompted much of last year's fall in gold prices.

Gold has risen more than 10 percent this year on uncertainty over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, worries about growth in China and renewed interest in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery were up $4.00 an ounce at $1,332.10.


In the physical market, premiums for gold bars in Singapore slipped to as low as 80 cents to the spot London prices from a high of $1.50 last week after a recent increase in prices spurred sales of scrap.

Silver was up 0.1 percent at $21.22 an ounce, recovering some lost ground after falling 2.8 percent the previous day, its biggest price drop in a month.

"That silver struggled to break convincingly through $22 was ... likely to frustrate investors," UBS said in a note.

"The silver market had tried to overcome this level all of last week, and after a couple more failed attempts this week, the urge to secure profits took over and prices finally gave in to the downside."

Spot platinum was at $1,432.75 an ounce, up 1.5 percent, while spot palladium edged 1.3 percent higher to $738.00 an ounce.

The chief executive of major platinum producer Impala Platinum said talks between the world's top three platinum mining companies and South Africa's striking AMCU union will resume on Friday in an effort to end a five-week stoppage over wages.

(Additional reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by William Hardy)