Selloff in stocks takes a breather; gold and yen tick up

12 August, 2017, 22:53 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Selloff in stocks takes a breather; gold and yen tick up

The UK's stock market has opened lower as worries over the situation between the United States and North Korea continue to rattle investors.

Singapore's DBS bank added in a statement that the yen "remains the safe haven currency from the sabre-rattling between US President Donald Trump and North Korea".

In Frankfurt, the Dax was flat, but the Cac 40 in Paris fell 1.1 per cent.

The selling was spread across the region led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.9 per cent) with Korea's Kopsi (-1.6 per cent) and Shanghai (-1.4per cent) not far behind.

North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat that further heightened tensions with the United States.

Investors instead turned to safe-haven assets such as gold, pushing it to a two-month high, and the Japanese yen rose.

The dollar index was last down 0.12% at 93.30.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.27 per cent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.47 per cent lower.

The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings.

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Australian shares were down 1.5 percent, set for a weekly loss of 0.8 percent.

A Reuters Datastream index of more than 7,000 stocks across the globe saw its market capitalisation drop from a record high US$61.36 trillion on Monday to US$60.43 trillion at the close on Thursday.

"Both (PPI measures) were well below consensus and give us no hope that consumer price inflation is going to materially beat expectations", said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

U.S. producer prices Thursday disappointed, as traders await consumer price inflation figures later Friday.

"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. For the week, the benchmark slipped 2.6%.

This week has seen its biggest rise since June 2016.

Gold prices XAU= rose 0.2 percent to $1,287.30 an ounce, after surging over 2 percent in the previous two sessions to a two-month high.

Unlike the tense stand-off on the Korean peninsula, Australian investors took a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to heightened global anxieties, wiping around $20 billion off the market.

USA crude rose 0.43 percent to $48.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent on the day. CP Foods, one of the world's biggest poultry, pork and seafood processors, is forecast to rally 28 percent within a year, the top projected gain based on consensus analyst price targets compiled by Bloomberg.

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