North Korea talk drags stocks lower; gold, yen rise

12 August, 2017, 15:10 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • By Saikat Chatterjee

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,466 as of 2:45 p.m.

The Dow is down 123.95 points or 0.6% at 21,924.75, the Nasdaq is down 95.89 points or 1.5% at 6,256.44 and the S&P 500 is down 23.40 points or 1% at 2,450.62. The Nasdaq lost 135 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216. Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54.

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new verbal warning to Pyongyang on Thursday, saying that his previous promise to unleash "fire and fury" may not have been strong enough after North Korea responded with a threat to land a missile near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The move came after North Korea said that it was examining a plan to attack the U.S. island of Guam in the Pacific, prompting the markets' move out of riskier assets such as equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,962.

U.S. crude oil settled 0.4% lower at $49.17/bbl, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration said it forecasts U.S. crude production to average 9.9M bbl/day in 2018, the highest annual average production on record. The stock lost $5.23 to $101.75. EIA reported that United States crude inventories fell last week as refineries boosted output to the highest percentage of capacity in 12 years. The consumer sector's biggest drags were Walt Disney and Priceline.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant. The stock shed $1.50 to $4.61.

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Gold prices - which were given a boost by safe haven demand - trended lower, after the yellow metal traded around two-month highs overnight. It is poised to end the week down 1.9 per cent. Humana rose $3.59, or 1.4 percent, to $253.81.

London's FTSE 100 opened about 0.5% lower with share indices in Germany, France and Italy also in the red.

The dollar was down 0.77 percent against the yen at 109.21 yen.

Futures markets were also pointing to a lower start for Wall Street, where missile makers have been the only significant gainers in recent days. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.63 a gallon. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

Insurers and banks, which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds, underperformed after U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, with the yields on the benchmark 10-year note hitting a six-week low. Gold (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-trades-at-2-mo-high-as-north-korea-tension-boosts-haven-investments-over-stocks-2017-08-10) jumped 0.9% to $1,290.50 an ounce, trading at a roughly two-month high.

Missile makers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have outperformed Wall Street by nearly four per cent in recent days and the Dow Jones US defence index is at a record high and on a seven-day unbroken run of gains. The stock fell 85 cents to 12.76. Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 40 cents to $51.50 per barrel in London. Netflix lost 1.5 per cent. The dollar is down 0.21% against sterling at the time of writing and down 0.27% against the Japanese yen.

Sterling slid against the dollar below the $1.3000 mark.

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