March 19, 2018

Simmering North Korea tensions knock back Wall Street

13 August 2017, 11:04 | Hattie Nash

North Korea on Thursday outlined details for a missile strike near the USA territory of Guam, adding fuel to rising tensions with the United States.

Trump's comments on Tuesday ended the Dow's nine-day streak of record closes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 204.69 points, or 0.93 percent, at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 35.81 points, or 1.45 percent, to end the session at 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 135.46 points, or 2.13 percent, to 6,216.87.

The S&P 500 index was on track for its first daily drop of more than 1 percent in nearly three months on Thursday as investors grew cautious over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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

Investors on Thursday scampered to safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping the precious metal hit a more two-month high.

Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between U.S. and North Korea
The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer. All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62% leading the decliners.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term market volatility, was up as much as 12.63 points, its highest in more than a month.

Shares of Macy's tumbled 10.2% and Kohl's was down 6% as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales. The Treasury yield us 10-year fell to 2,201 % vs. 2,248 % Wednesday night and one of the warrants to 30 years 2,778 %, compared with 2,824 %.

Retailers' results are being keenly watched by investors to gauge the companies' strategy to counter No. 1 online retailer's growth.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index fell 1.69%.

Ralph Lauren Corp. shares gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub Corp. added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

"The yen is the big story really".

The International 2017 Grand Final
The European team beat the Chinese opponents Newbee, which took home $3.9 million for a second-place position. Team Liquid are the victors of The International 7, a Dota 2 tournament with over $US24 million in prize pool.

Separately, U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products.

"The market is realising that economies are doing well enough for both the Fed and the ECB to remove stimulus", Ken Peng, a Hong Kong-based investment strategist at Citi Private Bank, said.

Federal funds futures suggested the chance of rate hike in December fell to 40 percent from 42 percent shortly before the release of the data.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound.

"For now, the uptrend is very much intact in gold, reacting to external geopolitical events", said Jonathan Butler, commodities analyst at Mitsubishi in London.

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