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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks edge up, dollar firms vs yen
May 6, 2013 / 2:40 PM / in 5 years

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks edge up, dollar firms vs yen

* Dollar gains vs yen on U.S. jobs data, test of 100 seen

* World stock gains stall after recent records

* Oil pares Syria-related gains on demand concerns

NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose against the yen on Monday and U.S. stocks hovered near last week’s record highs as a brighter outlook for the U.S. economy kept the risk trade alive.

Many analysts have expected a pullback in U.S. equities for weeks now, which Wall Street has largely avoided as traders use weakness as an opportunity to add to long positions.

Wall Street stocks traded slightly higher after the S&P 500 and Dow industrials hit record levels on Friday in the wake of a strong payrolls report.

“Everyone is settling in for the moment; we had a nice week last week and there are no real catalysts to move us significantly one way or the other today,” said Mark Martiak, senior wealth strategist at Premier/First Allied Securities in New York.

U.S. employment rose more than expected in April, with 165,000 jobs created, and hiring was much stronger than thought in the previous two months, the U.S. government said on Friday. The report eased concerns raised by other data that had pointed to the U.S. economy losing steam.

In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 1.78 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,972.18. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 3.25 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,617.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.85 points, or 0.38 percent, at 3,391.48.

The euro zone’s blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.5 percent after hitting a near-two year peak on Friday.

A 0.6 rise in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan left the MSCI world equity index little changed.

Purchasing managers indexes on Monday showed business growth flagged in China and recession dragged on euro zone companies, adding to a report on Friday that U.S. corporate growth slowed in April.

Brent crude oil futures hit their highest level in nearly a month after supply concerns followed Israeli air strikes on Syria on Friday and Sunday, but later slipped on demand worries cemented on the weak data from China and the euro zone.

“The attack over the weekend of Israel on Syria, on the one hand, can lead to some increased geopolitical premium,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Switzerland.

“But the global PMIs are weak and that in itself is not really bullish for distillates because the economy is still not providing signs that a strong recovery is ahead. Global oil demand is driven by distillates.”

Brent was last off 0.05 percent at $104.14 after trading above $105 earlier.

U.S. oil slipped 0.5 percent to $95.10, after ending Friday with gains of around 1.7 percent.

With Tokyo and London stock markets closed for holidays, trading volume was generally thin across markets.

The U.S. dollar rose for a third straight session against the yen and looked set to make another run at the 100-yen level after last week’s surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data rekindled optimism about the U.S. economy.

The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 99.31 yen, having earlier hit 99.45 yen, its strongest since April 25, according to Reuters data.

Gold prices were little changed after two weeks of gains on expectations last month’s price slide to the lowest in more than two years has run its course for now.

Spot gold was recently down 0.1 percent at $1,468.66.

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