GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares, pound rise on data, Wall St slips
* European shares edge toward 2013 high after stronger data
* Wall Street down on Fed uncertainty
* Copper gains on growth optimism about Europe, China
NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) - European shares rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday after data showed the euro zone emerged from recession in the second quarter, but uncertainty about U.S. monetary policy kept Wall Street under pressure. The euro slipped despite the encouraging euro zone economic data as elevated U.S. bond yields buoyed the dollar, while sterling jumped after robust U.K. jobs data cast doubt on the Bank of England's pledge to keep interest rates low. The economies of Germany and France grew more quickly than expected in the second quarter, bettering a widely heralded expansion in the United States and pulling the euro zone out of a 1-1/2-year recession, data showed on Wednesday.
U.S. stocks were lower in early trade as investors found few reasons to make big bets, with equities near all-time highs and little clarity over Federal Reserve policy. Apple Inc was one of the biggest gainers of the day, rising 1.2 percent to $495.40 to extend a rally that began on Tuesday after activist investor Carl Icahn tweeted that he had built a "large position" in the tech company. "Investors are still trying to assess the Fed and what it will do next, leaving us to bounce around on a daily basis but essentially go nowhere," said Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago. "Things should be quiet until we get more clarity on that end." MSCI's all-country world index, a measure of 45 equity markets around the world, rose 0.1 percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.2 percent to 1,239.89, within sight of its 2013 peak at 1,258.09. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 89.43 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,361.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 6.93 points, or 0.41 percent, at 1,687.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 13.25 points, or 0.36 percent, at 3,671.20. The euro traded slightly lower at $1.3258, while the dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 98.10 yen. Sterling hit a high of $1.5540 after data showed a sharp drop in jobless benefit claims in July and minutes from the central bank's last meeting revealed one policymaker had voted against a historic move to tie future interest rates to unemployment. It was last up 0.5 percent at $1.5519. The minutes and stronger labor market data prompted money market traders to price in a greater chance of a rate hike in the bank's base rate in two years - a year earlier than the BoE has signaled.
Yields on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasuries, which have been supporting the U.S. currency, edged down to around 2.7045 percent, just off Tuesday's near two-year peak of 2.72 percent . Investors have largely positioned for the Fed to start tapering its $85 billion per month of bond purchases soon, but are looking for more data to support that view. Talk about the Fed's next step escalated on Tuesday when Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said it was too early to detail plans to taper, while at the same time he did not rule out the possibility of it starting next month. His suggestion that any move would be neither nor drastic boosted sentiment in U.S. stock markets that carried into Asian trade, helping Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average to finish at a one-week high. Copper prices rose as optimism about the euro zone economy and top metals consumer China boosted confidence about demand for industrial materials. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $7,300 in official rings, up from a close of $7,275 on Tuesday. Spot gold rose to $1,329 an ounce from around $1,320. Brent was down 39 cents at $109.43 a barrel, while U.S. oil fell 60 cents to $106.23.