* Further US economic weakness to lift gold prices- analyst

* May US retail sales softer than expected

* Weekly jobless claims data due on Thursday

June 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday after softer U.S. retail sales data boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $2,331.17 per ounce, as of 0318 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $2,345.60.

Data released on Tuesday showed U.S. retail sales barely rose in May, suggesting that economic activity remained lacklustre in the second quarter.

"Weaker Treasury yields overnight and subdued moves around the U.S. dollar following a disappointing U.S. retail sales read seem to offer room for some relief in the yellow metal," said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong.

"While U.S. policymakers have guided for only one rate cut through 2024, market rate expectations are leaning more dovish, which seems to be finding validation from pockets of economic weakness presented. Further economic weakness may offer a lift for gold prices."

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

With recent data showing a moderation in the labour market and price pressures, the Federal Reserve is looking for further confirmation that inflation is cooling.

Market focus is now on the weekly jobless claims data on Thursday and flash purchasing managers' indexes on Friday.

Gold prices have entered a consolidation phase after hitting a record high of $2,449.89 on May 20.

On June 7, data showed that China's central bank paused gold purchases for its reserves in May after 18 months of buying, sending bullion to its biggest daily drop since November 2020.

"Central bank buying of gold took a breather in May and any continuation of this trend poses a risk to the pace of upside momentum in the gold price," Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade, said in a note.

Spot silver was down 0.1% at $29.49 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1% to $973.86 and palladium gained 0.2% to $888.91.

(Reporting by Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)