LONDON (Reuters) - Gold was pushed lower on Wednesday by a strengthening dollar and rising U.S. bond yields while investors looked ahead to Federal Reserve minutes at 1800 GMT that will shed light on the pace of U.S. interest rate rises.
A missile launch by North Korea caused only a brief rally for gold, seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty.
A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies and higher bond yields raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Interest rate rises meanwhile lead to higher bond yields and tend to boost the dollar.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,220.30 an ounce at 0958 GMT, just off Monday's seven-week low of $1,218.31.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery were flat at $1,219.70 an ounce.
"We've seen the dollar rebound from recent lows and treasury yields moving higher. That is a very powerful driver of the gold market," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.
Yields have risen sharply in recent weeks as several central banks signalled that they would tighten monetary policy, while Federal Reserve officials appeared undeterred by weak economic data and low inflation.
That has caused gold prices to tumble more than 3 percent from a high of $1,258.81 on June 23.
"If the Fed minutes confirm they are sticking to their outlook for the economy and their projection of higher rates going forward, this is not going to help the gold market," said Menke, predicting prices of $1,200 by the end of the year.
Investors were also looking ahead to employment data on Friday that could influence the pace of rate rises.
In the nearer term, analysts at Commerzbank said technical support for gold was around its May low of $1,214.
In other precious metals, silver was down 1.2 percent at $15.88 an ounce, trading well below the psychologically important level of $16 for the first time since January.
Platinum was 0.7 percent lower at $903.40 an ounce and palladium was flat at $851.50.
(Additional reporting by Nithin Prasad and Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)