* U.S. shares open higher, Treasuries prices slip before 7-year note auction * Dollar broadly weaker amid doubts on timing of Fed stimulus pullback * Euro hits two-week high after strong confidence data * MSCI Asia stocks ex-Japan at six-week low, Nikkei slumps By Ellen Freilich NEW YORK, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday despite a rise in new U.S. jobless claims and improved euro zone confidence data lifted European shares and the euro after another five percent dive in Japan's Nikkei share index. Revised figures showed U.S. GDP grew 2.4 percent in the first quarter, slightly less than initially reported, a sign of pain from Washington's austerity drive. U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday as the latest economic data indicated that central bank stimulus measures would remain intact. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 73.32 points, or 0.48 percent, at 15,376.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.89 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,658.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 23.81 points, or 0.69 percent, at 3,491.32. The dollar was weaker against most major currencies, but rose against the yen after sources told Reuters Japan's public pensions fund was considering allowing investment in domestic stocks. The Nikkei had tumbled 5 percent to a five-week low earlier as the recent boost provided by the Bank of Japan's record $1.4 stimulus continued to wane and as focus now turns to the Fed. U.S. Treasuries were slightly lower ahead of the Treasury's $29 billion seven-year note auction. Larger losses were pared after U.S. Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week. Investors in all markets are increasingly sensitive to economic data since Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that the U.S. central bank may taper its program of buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities within the next few policy meetings if data show the economy is gaining steam. Yields on Treasuries have surged this month as more upbeat sentiment about the economy prompted investors to sell bonds should the Fed pull back on its massive bond purchases. The recent backup in rates may help the Treasury sell $29 billion in seven-year notes on Thursday, the final sale of $99 billion in new coupon-bearing debt this week. The government saw strong demand on Wednesday for a $35 billion auction of five-year notes. "Yesterday we had a real bid come back into the market. Now it looks like we're going to gravitate to possibly higher prices but we do have to take this seven-year note out of the way," said Tom Tucci, head of Treasuries trading at CIBC in New York. Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 4/32 in price to yield 2.13 percent. Those yields have surged from 1.61 percent at the beginning of May, and reached a 13-month high of 2.24 percent in overnight trading on Wednesday. Top European stocks climbed 0.25 percent as they steadied after heavy falls on Wednesday, but the drop in Japan's Nikkei in Asian trading left MSCI's world index at a three-week low. "The market is being dominated by expectations of Fed tightening," said Daiwa securities economist Tobias Blattner. "German government bond yields have gone up quite significantly and after this massive rally equities are correcting to a certain extent." Share gains in Europe were underpinned by a bigger-than-expected improvement in the European Commission's monthly economic confidence survey, which showed morale picked up in all five of the euro zone's largest economies - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The stronger euro zone confidence data saw the euro drift to a two-week high of $1.2974 against the dollar as economists revised the chances of an ECB rate cut next week. In the debt market, a small rise in Italy's borrowing costs as it sold 5- and 10-year bonds mirrored the result of a Spanish auction earlier in the week, adding to signs that a 10-month fall in peripheral euro zone yields could be drawing to a close. German Bund futures recovered some ground after a recent selloff. Commodity markets were also focused on the uncertain impact a scale-back in Fed support would have on the global economy and demand for natural resources, as well as for the dollar. Most raw materials are priced in dollars. London copper, which has fallen 9 percent this year, hit a two-week low before rebounding and oil dipped back below $102 as it stayed at the bottom of its recent range.