Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

The UK's stock market has opened lower as worries over the situation between the USA and North Korea continue to rattle investors.

Late in the session, U.S. President Donald Trump said perhaps his threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough".

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent. Hong Kong slumped 2.04 per cent, Shanghai slipped 1.63 per cent, Korea shed 1.69 per cent, Jakarta fell 1.03 per cent. Singapore shares also ended in negative territory as increasingly bellicose talk between the United States and North Korea prompted investors to take money off the table, while traders trimmed positions ahead of the weekend.

If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the US, China should stay neutral, but if the US attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea's government, China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper has said.

ANALYST TAKE: "Equities look set to end this week on a downer, as geopolitical uncertainty regarding North Korea shakes volatility from its 2017 slumber", said Mike van Dulken, head of Research at Accendo Markets.

The yen is perceived as a safe haven because Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and investors there have tended to repatriate funds in times of crisis.

Rising costs for housing, medical care and food helped push the Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 0.1 percent in July, seasonally adjusted, after no change in June and a 0.1 decrease in May, the US Labor Department said.

The Dow and S&P 500 inched higher on the day but they both posted their largest weekly percentage drops since late March. On Tuesday, August 8, despite that new record high, the market pulled back and closed lower due to decreased risk appetite.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.27 per cent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.47 per cent lower.

THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and US indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days".

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents USA on Wednesday.

Futures markets were also pointing to a lower start for Wall Street, where missile makers have been the only significant gainers in recent days. Gold has rallied 2.6% this week, while the 10-year Treasury yield touched a six-week low of 2.1%.

Spot gold added 0.7 per cent to $1,285.70 an ounce. To Reuters citing Peter Kenny, in charge of the market strategy in Global Markets Advisory Group, " market participants are looking for any reason for a reset of course.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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