PRECIOUS-Gold rises to 4-week high as dollar drops after Fed; platinum rises

* Dollar index at lowest in three weeks

* Shares up as Fed less hawkish than expected

* Initial jobless claims fall in latest week

(Updates prices, adds comment)

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - Gold jumped to a four-week high on Thursday as the dollar fell after the Federal Reserve said it remained committed to accommodative measures and low interest rates, while platinum rose as new hurdles emerged in settling South Africa's mining strike.

The U.S. central bank hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest rate increases starting next year, but lowered projections for the long-term target interest rate, sending the dollar to its lowest in three weeks.

The U.S. currency failed to react to data showing the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dipped more than expected last week, pointing to strengthening labor market conditions.

The Fed cut its U.S. growth forecast for 2014 from 2.9 percent to a range of between 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent, but it also expressed confidence that the U.S. economic recovery was on track.

Spot gold rose as much as 1.3 percent to a four-week high of $1,295.50 an ounce in earlier trade and was seen up 1.2 percent to $1,292.70 an ounce by 1345 GMT.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose 1.6 percent to $1,293.40 an ounce.

"We are seeing some technical buying, which started ahead of the U.S. open and pushed prices above resistance at $1,285, which leaves the next upside target at $1,300," MKS SA senior vice president Bernard Sin said.

Gold rose at the same time as equities, as both assets benefited from a Fed view that was less hawkish than expected.

The metal tends to have an inverse relationship with equity markets, with investors seeking refuge from riskier assets in times of political or financial troubles. However, gold and equities have both been underpinned by accommodative monetary policies over the past few years.

"We have got a bit of interplay of two competing trends for gold: in the short term, gold is still very much headline-driven, with what's happening in Iraq, as far as safe-haven buying is concerned," Mitsubishi Corp analyst Jonathan Butler said.

But in the medium-term, the Fed comments were not a major event for gold, which will still suffer from the central bank concluding its quantitative easing program at the end of the year and raising interest rates some time in 2015, Butler added.

Tensions over Iraq and Ukraine were still seen attracting some safe-haven bids for gold, having lifted crude oil prices to nine-month highs.

Gold is usually seen as an hedge against oil-led inflationary pressures.

Physical demand in top buyers China and India has been weak, with premiums in both countries dropping in recent days. Indian premiums are at a four-month low, while Chinese prices are trading between discounts and on par with global prices.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw two straight sessions of outflows earlier in the week before a pause on Wednesday.

Holdings of the fund are near a five-year low, reflecting bearish investor sentiment towards the metal.

Platinum rose 1.1 percent to $1,459.00 an ounce and palladium was up by the same margin at $830.50 an ounce, with both trading near one-week highs as a mining strike in major producer South Africa looked set to drag on.

South African platinum union AMCU has made "unaffordable" new demands beyond a deal struck with producers last week, mining firms said on Wednesday, dashing hopes of an end to the country's longest and costliest mining strike.

Silver gained 1.5 percent to $20.21 an ounce, its highest since April 10.

(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by Pravin Char and David Evans)