(Reuters) - Global shares edged lower on Monday, snapping a four-session winning streak, and the euro slipped against the dollar after weak growth data from Spain added to fears of a deepening euro-zone recession.
Treasury prices rose as anxiety over economic weakness in Europe and slowing growth in the United States led investors to favor lower-risk investments over stocks and other risky assets.
Spain, the euro zone's fourth largest economy, slipped into recession in the first quarter as domestic demand fell, joining Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Belgium and Holland on the list of countries with shrinking economies.
That raised worries that governments in the euro zone could soften their approach to tackling budget deficits. Several countries in the region are under intense pressure to cut spending to help reduce their debt to sustainable levels.
There is clear risk aversion in the market, said Boris Schlossberg, director of FX research at GFT in New York. In short the news from Europe continues to point to further structural stress in the system.
The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS slipped 0.3 percent to 328.37, though it was still up 10 percent so far this year.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 24.60 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,203.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 5.39 points, or 0.38 percent, at 1,397.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 10.57 points, or 0.34 percent, at 3,058.63.
In the euro area, trading was light ahead of May Day holidays on Tuesday, elections in France and Greece on the weekend and a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday where policymakers will have to consider the region's worsening economic health.
Market stresses have re-emerged in the euro area on concerns that deficit reduction targets may be sabotaged by a return to recession, said Sarah Hewin, senior economist for Europe at Standard Chartered Bank.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares .FTEU3 slipped 0.5 percent to 1046.45. Emerging market shares .MSCIEF gained 0.6 percent.
The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.3230, off a near one-month high of $1.3270 hit on Friday. The dollar lost 0.4 percent to 79.90 yen.
The greenback briefly touched a two-month low against a basket of currencies .DXY of 78.638, its lowest since March 1, before recovering to 78.866, up 0.2 percent on the day.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 6/32, with the yield at 1.9155 percent.
In commodity markets, gold prices fell to $1,654 an ounce from $1.662.32 on Friday.
Brent June crude futures were down 52 cents to $119.31 a barrel and on track to close down for the second consecutive month. U.S. crude was down 83 cents at $104.10 a barrel.