Markets slide for third day on political tension

13 Août, 2017, 11:05 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • Tensions over North Korea weigh on stocks but boost gold

Tensions spiked yet further when North Korean state media later said Pyongyang was considering strikes near U.S. military installations in Guam.

In the USA, major indexes closed slightly lower as investors digested geopolitical tensions, with the Dow Jones industrial average sliding 0.17 percent to close at 22,048.70.

Crude oil prices tumbled on the back of the selloff on Wall Street and lingering concerns over global oversupply.

Rising geopolitical tensions were heightened further when U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang it should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks about attacking the United States or its allies, after Pyongyang said it was making plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The Japanese market was closed in observance of the Mountain Day holiday.

But U.S. stocks regained some lost ground, despite Trump's comments Friday that U.S. weapons are "locked and loaded", ready to respond if North Korea acts "unwisely".

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.78 yen from 110.06 late Wednesday in Asia.

Investors instead turned to safe-haven assets such as gold, pushing it to a two-month high, and the Japanese yen rose.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: "Equities are nursing losses thanks to an unwelcome escalation in geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea, both trading nuclear threats that have awoken volatility from its slumber and seen risk assets shunned in favour of the traditional safe havens". Shares of Macy's lost almost 10% and Kohl's fell 6.9%.

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In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.41 percent, with the index driven by broad-based gains, with only the energy and utilities sub-indexes registering slight losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plummeted 560.49 points or 2% to 26,883.51. "What's happened in North Korea is enough to do that".

Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control.

While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1%.

Data overnight from China showed that China's producer price gains held steady on surging commodity prices, as demand stayed resilient and the government's drive to reduce industrial capacity takes hold.

A Labour Department report showed its producer price index posted a surprise drop in July, down 0.1 percent for the largest slide in nearly a year.

"Investors tend to be more cautious ahead of economic data, especially when the prices are high".

Shares of Blue Apron Holdings fell 17% after it said it lost more money than analysts had expected in its first quarterly earnings report since going public in June.

Kohl's, another department store chain, slumped 8.9 percent after reporting that second-quarter sales dipped 0.9 percent compared with the year-ago period.

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