By CARLO PIOVANOAssociated Press
LONDON (AP) - Global stock markets mostly retreated on Monday as a weak opening on Wall Street dented spirits ahead of new U.S. economic figures.
A disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday had sparked worries about the health of the world's biggest economy but also led some to believe the Fed will not cut back on its monetary stimulus as early as September, as many analysts had been predicting.
The Fed has already stated its intention to eventually reduce its monthly purchases of $85 billion of Treasurys and mortgage bonds. The Fed has been pumping money into the U.S. economy for more than four years in an effort to keep interest rates down and help boost lending. The program has been a boon to stocks, where investors have fled in search of higher returns.
A survey of the U.S. services sector later in the day will be watched for further clues on how soon the Fed might tighten its policies.
Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.5 percent at 6,617.18 while Germany's DAX shed 0.3 to 8,386.05. France's CAC-40 advanced almost 0.1 percent to 4,049.24.
European stocks had traded higher earlier, also supported by surveys of the eurozone and U.K. services sectors. The final estimates of the so-called purchasing managers' indexes were upbeat, particularly for Britain, which saw a sharper-than-expected increase.
But the mood was weighed down by a weak opening on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial traded 0.4 percent at 15,602.06 while the S&P 500 shed 0.3 percent to 1,704.22.
Earlier in Asia, stock indexes were mixed.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.4 percent to close at 14,258.04 as the dollar hovered below 100 yen. A stronger yen makes Japanese products more expensive overseas and can hurt companies whose survival hinges on exports.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 5,111.30 as traders waited for the Reserve Bank of Australia's monthly interest rate decision on Tuesday and the release of employment figures for July on Thursday. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 1,916.22.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.1 percent to 22,222.01. Benchmarks in mainland China, Taiwan and New Zealand rose. Singapore and the Philippines fell.
The dollar weakened, a sign that some investors are betting the Fed may keep its monetary stimulus program at the current level for a little longer than expected. The stimulus lowers market interest rates, reducing the appeal of some dollar-denominated investments, such as Treasurys. That in turn weakens appetite for the dollar.
The dollar fell 0.4 percent against the Japanese yen, to 98.58 yen, though the euro was down 0.3 percent to $1.3247.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was down 86 cents to $106.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 95 cents on Friday.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.