Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

12 August, 2017, 22:29 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • North Korea

Late in the afternoon, Trump told reporters that his "fire and fury" warning to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

The remarks followed a new report asserting that USA intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

The Korean won continued to fall versus the dollar, down 0.13 per cent to 1,143.5 on Friday for a 1.6 per cent decline on the week.

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped to 21,947.15, down 0.5 percent from Wednesday's close, falling back below the 22,000 mark it first broke through on August 2.

Bond prices were little changed.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.194 percent, from 2.211 percent late on Thursday.

Travel website operator Priceline fell 7.26 percent, weighing the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, following a disappointing forecast. The stock fell $3.30 to $30.09.

Retailers Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS), and Gap (GPS) are also among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week.

Biotechnology, tobacco, and transportation stocks also saw considerable strength, while steel stocks extended a recent move to the downside.

The Labor Department also said unit labour costs rose by 0.6% in the second quarter following an upwardly revised 5.4% spike in the first quarter.

Away from geopolitics, Graham Bishop, investment director at Heartwood Investment Management, said price action overall has been muted when companies have beat estimates in the latest reporting period, but then "altogether painful" when they miss. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $8.02 to $45.25.

Overall, the healthcare sector slumped 3.4 percent.

Materials, a sector that includes gold producers and other resource-based companies, was the lone gainer among the index's 10 main sectors, rising 0.7 percent.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents United States on Wednesday. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.63 a gallon. On the Nasdaq, 2,303 issues fell and 567 advanced. Silver gained 14 cents to $16.39 an ounce.

US crude oil tumbled 2% to $48.59/bbl, failing to hold above $50 as a report from OPEC showed crude production among the group's members rose in July.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories. The euro slid to $1.1752 from $1.1793.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3009, up 0.27 percent on the day. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.13 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 lost 0.30 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent.


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