North Korea tensions continue to weigh on global stocks

13 Août, 2017, 07:12 | Author: Marc Bacque

In his latest warning to North Korea, US President Donald Trump said on Friday military solutions were "fully in place" and referred to American weapons as being "locked and loaded" should the nuclear-armed nation act "unwisely".

USA stock index futures were lower on Friday as the escalating war of words with North Korea drove investors to seek safety in low-risk assets.

Wall Street stocks posted their biggest declines in almost three months Thursday as President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea over its nuclear program.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. Both the Nasdaq and the Russell are set for their third straight weekly decline.

The headlines about North Korea served as a spark to jolt investors out of complacency on the heels of an extended period of calm in the market, said McClellan who shared the following chart in a report.

Apart from geopolitical worries, some technical analysts like Tom McClellan, editor of the McClellan Market Report, blamed seasonality for this week's sharp retreat given August's record as a weak month for stocks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent.

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Wall Street's fear gauge - the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX - surged 44%, its second-biggest one-day jump of the year.

However, New York Fed President William Dudley said on Thursday he expected inflation to rise and suggested that the central bank was on track to raise rates once more this year.

In contrast to the US market, global equities remained weak.

An editorial in China's state-run Global Times (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060791.shtml), published late Thursday local time, added to the pressure on Asian markets.

If the North Korean regime "does anything" to the U.S. or a USA ally "things will happen to them like they never thought possible", he told reporters on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

Stock movers:Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares earlier rose after the retailer posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10) but the stock is trading mostly flat. Shares of J.C. Penney dropped 78 cents, or 17%, to $3.93 Friday after the department store's second-quarter loss exceeded expectations. The precious metal is often used as a safe-haven investment in times of economic uncertainty.

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