* European shares up on corporate earnings
* Copper falls more than 1 pct after Chinese data
* Sterling hits 4-month low vs U.S. dollar
(Updates prices, comment; changes dateline; previous LONDON)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Aug 13 A global gauge of stock markets
rose on Wednesday as investors were cautiously optimistic about
de-escalation of conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq, but copper, a
barometer for global economic growth, fell more than 1 percent
to a seven-week low.
Recent anxiety over the standoff between Russia and Ukraine
ebbed slightly after Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
said late on Tuesday that the possibility of Russia's military
invading eastern Ukraine had receded after Moscow agreed to send
in humanitarian aid under Red Cross auspices.
Still, Ukraine denounced the convoy as an act of Russian
cynicism and said it would not be allowed to cross the border.
In Iraq, where the new prime minister-designate already won
endorsements from the United States and Iran, got support from
Shi'ite militia and army commanders. They had been loyal to Nuri
al-Maliki, the previous prime minister, who has refused to step
aside. The support of the army commanders may signal reduced
likelihood the country would descend further into violence.
"The market seems comfortable with what's going on abroad,
and while there's always a risk of escalation, which would give
the market pause, trying to anticipate that is pure
speculation," said David Lebovitz, global market strategist at
J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.
"Focusing on fundamentals has us viewing any weakness as a
buying opportunity," he added
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 97.44 points,
or 0.59 percent, at 16,657.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 12.71 points, or 0.66 percent, at 1,946.46. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 37.58 points, or 0.86
percent, at 4,426.83.
European shares gained ground, helped in part by
forecast-beating results from bellwethers such as Swiss Life
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
was up 0.3 percent, with MSCI's world stock index
up 0.5 percent.
In currency markets, sterling fell 0.7 percent against the
U.S. dollar to a four-month low of $1.6692 after the Bank of
England slashed its forecast for wage growth, prompting
investors to push back expectations of when interest rates would
But the euro rose against the greenback to as much as
$1.3415 following data showing U.S. retail sales
unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum.
"The (retail sales) report draws a picture of weaker
consumer spending in the third quarter. That plays into
expectations the Fed will be in no hurry to raise interest
rates," said Sireen Haraji, currency strategist at Mizuho
Corporate Bank in New York.
The euro was last up 0.1 percent at $1.3378.
U.S. Treasury debt yields fell after the soft retail sales
data, as traders bet on more support from the U.S. central bank.
Still, the decline in bond yields was limited ahead of a $24
billion auction in 10-year notes at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT).
"The knee-jerk reaction to the retail sales data was a
disappointment" said Craig Dismuke, chief economic strategist at
Vining Sparks in Memphis, Tennessee.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32
in price, its yield down to 2.422 percent.
German 10-year yields fell 3 basis points to
1.03 percent, having hit a record low of 1.02 percent last week.
OIL FLAT NEAR RECENT LOWS, COPPER SLIPS
Copper, seen as a barometer of global growth, fell to a
seven-week low below $6,882 per tonne, dragged down by
soft data on China's property sector, which raised concerns
about the outlook for the metal used in power and construction.
It was last down 1.1 percent at $6,884.
September Brent crude futures, which expire on Thursday,
fell as low as $102.37, the weakest for a front-month price
since July 1, 2013, before trading little changed at $102.92.
OPEC output rose to a five-month high of 30.44 million
barrels per day in July as increased production from Saudi
Arabia and Libya more than offset declines in Iraq, Iran and
"Brent prices have been in a steady decline and I think the
background of that is that the market is forming the view that
any supply disruptions are not on the immediate horizon," CMC
Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said.
U.S. crude was down 50 cents, or 0.5 percent, at
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Richard Leong,
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York and David Sheppard in
London; Editing by Dan Grebler)