Asia stocks muted as cheer over US jobs fades

AP News
Posted: May 06, 2013 11:07 PM

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets were muted Tuesday as cheer over the better-than-expected U.S. jobs report faded.

Japan's benchmark stock index was the exception, surging 2.6 percent to 14,083.26 as it reopened following a long weekend holiday.

Major indexes on Wall Street as well as Germany's DAX hit record highs Friday after the U.S. Labor Department said employers added more workers to their payrolls in recent months. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, the lowest level in four years.

But enthusiasm over the news began waning Tuesday, with investors mindful of slowing growth in China and the recession among the 17 countries that use the euro.

"The positive reverberations from the US April jobs report continue to provide a fillip to markets but the impact is already fading," Mitul Kotecha of Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said in a commentary.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to 22,941.76. Benchmarks in Indonesia, Singapore and New Zealand also rose.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3 percent to 5,138.70 as banking shares dipped ahead of a decision on interest rates by the country's central bank. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,955.86.

No major economic reports came out of the U.S. on Monday, where stocks ended mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average fell less than 0.1 percent to close at 14,968.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 1,617.50. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.4 percent to 3,392.97.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 29 cents to $95.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to close at $96.16 per barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 98.99 yen from 99.40 yen late Monday in New York. The euro was little changed at $1.3080.


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