World stocks slipped on Wednesday as investors paused ahead of key U.S. data, having pushed them to 11-month highs the previous day, while the low-yielding dollar held near its 2009 low against the euro.
Gold rose toward the previous day's 1-1/2 year high, which was above $1,000 an ounce, with traders saying investors are selling the dollar to buy other risky assets such as stocks and commodities.
World stocks have recouped more than half of losses by rising 22 percent since January, fueled by evidence of a recovering global economy and a weekend Group of 20 pledge to keep emergency support for their economies in place.
Investors are awaiting the release due later of the Federal Reserve Beige Book, a summary of U.S. economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts, and a weekly U.S. mortgage market report for more evidence for a U.S. economic recovery.
Markets are testing the post-recovery highs. Some say the bigger picture looks fine. The economy is getting better, not worse, but there's not much today to drive the market higher, said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers. MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> fell 0.4 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> also lost 0.4 percent.
Emerging stocks <.MSCIEF> dropped 0.6 percent after hitting a fresh one-year high, levels last seen before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
I suspect the incentives of portfolio managers to bet on a global recovery should overwhelm those betting on a relapse in growth, said Stephen Jen, managing director of macroeconomics and currencies at London-based hedge fund BlueGold Capital Management.
U.S. crude oil fell 0.2 percent to $70.95 a barrel ahead of the OPEC meeting, which is widely expected to keep output targets unchanged.
Gold rose to $997.45 an ounce, having risen above $1,000 on Tuesday.
We need to see how the dollar moves, as people are using the dollar's weakness as an excuse to buy gold, said Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
The dollar was up 0.1 percent against a basket of major currencies <.DXY> after hitting its lowest level since early October on Tuesday.
The September Bund future fell 11 ticks.
(Additional reporting by Brian Gorman; editing by Stephen Nisbet)