LONDON - World stock markets rose modestly Friday even though better than expected U.S. jobs data stoked hopes that the world's largest economy may emerge from recession earlier than anticipated - a sign that further gains may prove more difficult than during the recent rally.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 27.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,834.78 by midday New York time while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures fell 0.6 point, or 0.1 percent, to 941.86.
In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 12.23 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,077.03 while France's CAC-40 index rose 27.02 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,339.05.
Britain's FTSE 100 index was the big gainer in Europe, rising 51.62 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,438.56 with miners in big demand after Rio Tinto PLC scrapped its $19.5 billion deal with China's Chinalco and opted instead to raise $15.2 billion in a share sale and set up a joint venture with rival BHP Billiton.
Though markets were up, many thought the gains would have been bigger after the Labor Department said the U.S. shed only 345,000 jobs in May. That was the fewest since September and well below market expectations for another 500,000 plus rise. A separate survey showing the unemployment rate rising to a 26-year high of 9.4 percent in May from 8.9 percent from April tempered some of the initial euphoria.
The rally in stock markets since mid-March, which has seen some of the world's major indexes in positive territory for 2009, has been fueled by a run of better than expected economic data, particularly out of the U.S. As stocks usually start rallying 6 to 9 months before actual recovery emerges in the official data, investors have bet that the massive sell-off in markets during the financial crisis was overdone.
The dollar jumped to 98.24 yen after the payrolls data from 96.63 yen, while the euro fell to $1.3981 from $1.4190. The dollar had suffered in earlier stages of the stock market rally as investors piled into riskier assets.
Oil prices rose above $70 a barrel level, then eased, trading up 7 cents on the day at $68.88 a barrel. On Thursday the contract shot up $2.69.