Asian stock markets listless a day after gains

NEW YORK: Asian stock markets were little changed early Tuesday, taking a breather after gains Monday fueled by a better-than-expected jobs report from the U.S.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was off 0.29 percent to 10,555. Shanghai's composite index eased 0.42 percent to 3,040.

South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.35 percent to 1,654, while Australia's market added 0.05 percent to 4,810.

Singapore's market rose slightly as those in Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines fell by fractions of a percent.

The U.S. jobs figures released Friday had stoked investors' hopes that the U.S. economic recovery remains on track and that the world's largest economy could produce sustained job growth. But the market rally paused in the U.S. on Monday, and Asia appeared to do the same.

World markets have also been bolstered as Greece has gotten firmer pledges of support to solve its debt problems.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Sunday that Greece had done what was asked of it by European Union partners, a condition that may mean those partners must now do their part to help the ailing country.

And Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is due to meet President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.