LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Friday as French stocks and bonds took a battering from political turmoil, while elsewhere investors weighed up the U.S. rates outlook after a week of mixed signals.

At 0934 GMT, the STOXX 600 was down 0.6% on the day . France's CAC 40 was down 1.6%, plunging to its lowest since February.

President Emmanuel Macron's grip on power has weakened after left-wing parties united against him, leaving market participants worried that the far right, led by Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National (RN), could win the election and push a high-spending agenda.

France's finance minister said the country faces the risk of a financial crisis if the far right were to win a snap election in the coming weeks.

The risk premium on French government bonds surged to its highest since 2017, and the spread between French and German 10-year government bond yields was at 79.1 basis points .

"It is justified that some political risk is priced into French assets. Markets are weighing the risks of an RN government, assuming more fiscal slippage, nationalization risks, etc," said Amelie Derambure, Senior Multi-Asset Portfolio Manager at Amundi in Paris.

But Derambure added that the risks are "very different from 2017" because the RN is not talking about taking France out of the European Union.

"That is a major difference," she said.

The euro was down 0.6% on the day at $1.067175, its lowest in more than six weeks, in a move analysts said was due to the risk premium on European markets following the European elections last weekend, where gains by far-right parties dealt a blow to the leaders of France and Germany.

WATCHING THE DATA

World stocks were down 0.2% on the day, having fallen since they hit an all-time high earlier the week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday pushed back the expected start date for its rate cuts. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said policymakers were content to leave rates where they are until the economy sends a clear signal that something else is needed.

But investors took confidence from cooler-than-expected producer prices and consumer price data.

Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. hit a 10-month high as the labour market cooled.

“It’s very likely that the last mile on the disinflation process will require some weaker growth and weaker demand… the numbers that we have seen this week are clearly going into that direction," said Amundi's Derambure.

The U.S. dollar gained, with the dollar index up 0.4% at 105.63, on track for a 0.6% weekly rise.

Elsewhere, the yen fell after the Bank of Japan said it would begin trimming its huge bond purchases in the future, in a move interpreted as signalling it was not in a hurry to do so soon.

The dollar gained as much as 0.8% to 158.255 on the yen , causing the yen to touch its weakest in more than a month during Asian trading, though it recovered in early European trading.

U.S. Treasury yields were down, with the benchmark 10-year yield down 3 basis points at 4.2074%.

Euro zone government bonds were also down. Germany's 10-year yield was at 2.373%, down 11.8 basis points on the day.

Oil prices eased, but crude benchmarks were still on track for their best week in more than two months.

Gold was up 0.7% on the day at $2,320.18.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by Angus MacSwan)