Global stocks shudder on Trump warnings to North Korea

14 August, 2017, 07:21 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Investors us stocks stock market us north korea

NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street put a floor under global equities on Friday after a weak inflation reading brought investors back into USA stocks even as tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate, though the geopolitical fears still drove safe-haven buying of gold and the yen.

After moving lower early in the session, stocks remain mostly negative in mid-day trading on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, President Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to recent threats from Pyongyang. Humana rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96.

German bond yields fell, gold and the Japanese yen surged and the leveraged bets on higher yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar took a beating.

London's benchmark share index closed down 45 points amid fears of a military conflict between the United States and North Korea.

SeaWorld Entertainment slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

"It's awesome when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bargain-seeking investors instead turned their focus to strength in the global economy and earnings toward the end of an active trading day.

At 12:28 p.m. ET (1628 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 52.87 points, or 0.24 percent, at 22,032.47, the S&P 500 was down 2.8 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,472.12.

The Nasdaq composite lost 13.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,370.46.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.19 per cent.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.

While gold, a safe-haven favourite, pared some gains it was last up 1.2 per cent at around its highest since mid-June, while the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen also rose.

North Korea said on Wednesday it is "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the U.S.

"Tensions are still high and not going away at the moment".

"That may have weighed a little bit" on markets, said Phil Guarco, global investment specialist J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

The New Zealand dollar was 0.79 lower against the greenback after New Zealand's central bank said it was slightly more uncomfortable with the high level of the local dollar than it had been in May.

On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.5%. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent.

The news was also greeted with dismay by traders in Asia, with Tokyo down 1.3 percent, Hong Kong losing 0.4 percent and Seoul registering a 1.1-percent decline. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.5 basis points at 2.228%. The 30-year Treasury bond rose 27/32 in price to yield 2.8252 percent, from 2.867 percent late on Tuesday.

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