March 25, 2018

Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between USA and North Korea

12 August 2017, 09:49 | Melvin Schneider

U.S. and Japanese military preparing for war against North Korea

U.S. and Japanese military preparing for war against North Korea

Overnight North Korea dismissed as a "load of nonsense" warnings by U.S. President Donald Trump that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,438, its biggest drop since mid-May.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks.

Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia.

While European stocks have seen robust inflows in the wake of the French elections, their performance have lagged their USA rivals since mid June.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

US crude was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

It also outlined detailed plans for a missile strike near Guam, which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea and home to about 163,000 people, a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and an air base.

"I think a few investors are capitulating to it".

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The utilities index, often seen as a bond proxy because of its companies' slow reliable growth and high dividends, was the only S&P sector that ended the day up, showing a 0.25 percent gain.

The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the US dollar, and USA -traded Nikkei stock futures dropped 2 percent to their lowest since mid May.

Global stock markets are firmly in the red after another escalation of tensions between North Korea and the United States.

JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade, said geopolitics had "splashed cold water on the markets".

"The typical text book trade is that investors rush for safe havens".

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday.

The dollar weakened after news that US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95.

The dollar slipped below ¥110 in Tokyo trading on Wednesday, as the yen attracted safe-haven buying on growing geopolitical risks over North Korea's missile and nuclear development programs.

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