Rev. Robert J.A. Zito, right, joins other clergy and parishioners from Trinity Church as they pray while holding up an oversized cross near the New York Stock Exchange as part of a Good Friday ritual Good Friday ritual Stations of the Cross Friday, April 2, 2010 in New York. Source: AP

Rev. Robert J.A. Zito, right, joins other clergy and parishioners from Trinity Church as they pray while holding up an oversized cross near the New York Stock Exchange as part of a Good Friday ritual Good Friday ritual Stations of the Cross Friday, April 2, 2010 in New York. Source: AP

SINGAPORE: Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday after an encouraging U.S. jobs report offered the latest sign the global economy is on the mend.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.4 percent to 11,326.68 while Singapore's benchmark index also increased 0.4 percent, Indonesia jumped 1.8 percent and India gained 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi index slipped 0.4 percent to 1,719.44 and Thailand dropped 0.4 percent.
On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the largest job gain in three years. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.
"The U.S. recovery is showing new strength," said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide in Singapore. "Demand for Asian exports is stabilizing and has recovered from last year's trough. Domestic demand in Asia is also rising steadily."
The Dow Jones industrials rose 0.7 percent to 10,927.07 on Thursday, a new high for the year. Wall Street was closed for Good Friday, as were other major markets around the world.
Trading volume in Asia was light as many markets were closed Monday, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3505 on Monday from $1.3488 the previous day while the dollar slid to 94.42 yen.
Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 80 cents to $85.67 a barrel on Monday.