* European shares rise on corporate earnings, easier oil
* Brent crude oil prices fall below $103 on ample supplies
* Sterling hits 10-week low vs dollar as UK wages fall
By Mike Dolan
LONDON, Aug 13 World stock markets ticked higher
on Wednesday, lifted by brighter corporate results and as oil
prices plumbed 13-month lows with ample supply offseting output
disruption risks posed by tensions in Iraq and Libya.
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 0.2 percent.
The biggest mover in currency markets was sterling, which
fell 0.6 percent against the dollar to a 10-week low after the
Bank of England slashed its forecast for wage growth, prompting
investors to push back expectations of when interest rates would
U.S. stocks index futures indicated Wall Street,
which eked out slight gains on Tuesday, would open higher.
Recent market 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.
However, Ukraine on Wednesday denounced the dispatch of the
convoy and said it would not be allowed in.
Russian shares rose more than 1 percent.
"The market is rangebound for now, with the focus on the
tense situation in Ukraine, as well as on GDP figures for
Germany and France due tomorrow," IG France chief market analyst
Alexandre Baradez said.
"There's a lot of confusion about the Russian humanitarian
convoy heading to Ukraine."
Brent crude slipped below $103 a barrel to trade at its
lowest level in more than a year as supply continued strong.
September Brent crude futures, which expire on Thursday,
fell as low as $102.37, the weakest for a front-month since July
1, 2013. It was the fourth day of losses for the benchmark and
comes after the International Energy Agency (IEA) pointed to
well-supplied global markets and a glut in the Atlantic Basin.
Output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries rose to a five-month high of 30.44 million barrels per
day (bpd) in July as increased production from Saudi Arabia and
Libya more than offset declines in Iraq, Iran and Nigeria.
"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.
But sub-par global economic numbers were also a factor in
generally weak commodity prices. Copper, seen as a barometer of
world demand, fell to a six-week low of $6,926.50 per tonne on
Asian shares made modest gains, even though mainland Chinese
shares were knocked off their highs by surprisingly weak loans
data. Data also showed Japan's economy shrank an annualised 6.8
percent from the previous quarter - the biggest contraction in
three years - but the outcome was slightly better forecast.
German government bond yields held close to record lows on
Wednesday, with a 10-year debt auction suggesting strong
underlying demand for German paper due to a uncertain economic
outlook and rising expectations the European Central Bank would
further ease monetary policy.
German inflation for July was confirmed at 0.8 percent
year-on-year, showing how weak inflationary pressures are even
in the region's strongest economy.
Euro zone industrial output unexpectedly dropped in June,
falling 0.3 percent compared with May and second-quarter gross
domestic product reports from across the region are due on
German 10-year yields rose 1 basis point to
1.07 percent, having hit a record low of 1.02 percent last week.
"The recovery in the euro zone is pretty weak and we also
see the effect of geopolitical fears in the market," DZ Bank
rate strategist Christian Lenk said.
Sterling fell as low as $1.6703 and the euro firmed
to above 80 pence for the first time in six weeks.
The BoE, in its quarterly inflation report, cut in half its
forecast for wage growth this year to 1.25 percent and said the
pay data would help determine when interest rates would rise.
Earlier, figures showed wages fell 0.2 percent in the second
quarter compared with the same period in 2013.
Markets pushed back their expectations of when rates would
rise to next February 2015 from December.
(Additonal reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris, Anirban Nag
and Nigel Stephenson in London, Seng Li Peng in Singapore,
Hideyuki Sano and Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo; Editing by Raissa