Stocks subdued as US jobs cheer fades

Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer
BofA leads banks up; S&P 500 index ekes out gain

In this Thursday, May 2, 2013, photo, Trader John Santiago works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets rose Monday May 6, 2013 after an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report pushed Wall Street to new highs. Malaysian shares jumped after the country's ruling political alliance won national elections. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

MILAN (AP) -- World stock markets were subdued on Monday as the momentum from an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report last week faded.

Major indexes on Wall Street as well as Germany's DAX hit record highs on Friday, when the U.S. Labor Department said employers added 165,000 workers in April. The figure was above forecasts and hiring in February and March was also stronger than previously estimated. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, the lowest level in four years.

Investors turned more cautious on Monday as some focused once again on the problems facing the global economy. Though growth in the U.S. is holding up well, it is slowing in China. The 17-country eurozone remains in recession and unemployment there has been hitting a series of record highs.

Germany's DAX shed 0.1 percent to close at 8,112.08 while France's CAC-40 fell 0.2 percent to 3,907.04. London trading was closed for a bank holiday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was flat at 14,978.41 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.2 percent at 1,618.41.

Friday's job report counterbalanced weeks of mixed signals about manufacturing and corporate earnings and renewed hopes of a recovery in the world's largest economy.

"Markets just came back to life, helped by that strong reading from U.S. nonfarm payrolls. That number completely obliterated expectations," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne.

In Asia, Malaysia's KLSE Composite surged 3.4 percent to 1,752.02 after the country's governing coalition won national elections, albeit with a weakened majority, to extend its unbroken, 56-year rule.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1 percent to 22,915.09. Australia's S&P/ASX advanced 0.5 percent to 5,156.20. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia also rose, while the Philippines fell. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 1,962.25. Japan's stock market was closed for a public holiday.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was up 41 cents to $96.02 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.62 to close at $95.61 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3069 from $1.3110 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 99.34 yen from 99.04 yen.

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Pamela Sampson contributed from Bangkok.