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Global stocks mostly lower ahead of US earnings

BEIJING/HONG KONG -- Global stock markets were mostly lower Monday as investors looked ahead to U.S. corporate earnings following last week's strong job numbers.

Oil fell below US$104 per barrel as expectations of increased supply offset strong U.S. job growth.

Markets gave up some of last week's gains that followed news the United States generated a stronger-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June, a sign an economic recovery might be gaining traction.

“The market saw another piece of evidence that the U.S. economy is gathering steam while at the same time central bank rhetoric remains dovish,” said Credit Agricole CIB in a report.

In Europe, France's CAC-40 shed 0.3 percent to 4,455.11 and Germany's DAX was off 0.2 percent to 9,990.38. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 6,850.14.

Wall Street futures augured losses Monday even as expectations build for strong quarterly earnings. The Dow closed above 17,000 for the first time Thursday ahead of the three-day Independent Day weekend.

“Companies in the U.S. are widely expected to report better earnings after the winter slumber,” said Desmond Chua of CMC Markets in a report.

Dow futures were down 0.2 percent at 16,949 and S&P 500 futures lost 0.2 percent to 1,973.60.

Asian markets mostly fell Monday as investors await the release later in the week of Chinese economic data for June, while the dollar added to last week's gains following a strong U.S. jobs report.

Tokyo shed 0.37 percent, or 57.69 points, to finish at 15,379.44 and Sydney dipped 0.11 percent, or 6.1 points, to close at 5,518.9. Seoul lost 0.23 percent, or 4.54 points, to 2,005.12.

Shanghai was flat, edging up 0.55 points to 2,059.93. Hong Kong also ended flat, edging down 5.44 points to 23,540.92.

Focus is now on Beijing, where the government will Wednesday release inflation data, followed Thursday by trade statistics.

Gold fetched US$1,314.03 an ounce at 1120 GMT compared with US$1,322.84 late Friday.

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In this July 15 photo, the American flag and a sign for Wall Street are shown outside the New York Stock Exchange. (AP)

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