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13 August 2017, 05:37 | Hattie Nash
Tech firms drag stocks amid N. Korea jitters
More than £27 billion was wiped off the value of blue-chip stocks on Thursday as investors remained spooked by the simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea.
The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9% to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1% to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5% to 2,438.21.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points, or 0.2%, to 22,032. Gold was last up 1.4 percent, its highest point since mid-June, while the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen rose.
All 11 major S&P sectors were lower and the consumer discretionary index was the biggest loser with a 1 percent drop.
Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks looked poised for a weekly drop of 2.8%, its biggest one-week decline since February 2016. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.
On Thursday, the three major USA indexes logged their worst performances since mid-May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-up-for-another-day-of-losses-as-north-korean-tensions-simmer-2017-08-10) in a session dogged by escalating tension between the us and North Korea.
Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday afternoon that his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.
Still, the market has had several fits and starts over the past few months.
The financial index had risen earlier in the session after the Labor Department said USA job openings, a measure of labor demand, jumped to a record high in June to the highest level since December 2000. It's still the highest it's been since May. Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce. Health care companies were among the gainers.
Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant. Universal Health Services picked up $2.26, or 2.1 percent, to $107.63. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76. Brighthouse Financial shed $1.03, or 1.8 percent, to $57.47. On the Nasdaq, 1,440 issues fell and 1,386 advanced.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 14 cents to $48.47 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.
The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the USA dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.
Markets in Italy, France and Germany also saw declines.
In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent compared with the closing level on Wednesday. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $4.47, or 1 percent, to $474.15.
In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.
The focus on North Korea largely overshadowed a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in U.S. producer prices in the month of July.
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Baker Avenue's Lip said the US market was higher due to "bargain hunters", but "there's more room for the market to come down". The Labor Department said on Friday the Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged up 0.1% last month after being unchanged in June.
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