Stocks Fall for Third Straight Day as North Korea Tensions Percolate

12 August, 2017, 21:53 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Ready... aim

President Donald Trump warned North Korea, saying that any provocation and threats "will be met with fire and fury".

The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea.

Hong Kong shed more than one percent and Shanghai also closed lower, while Seoul shares continued their sell-off after slumping Wednesday, with the won again softening.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks.

The European and American dips followed similar trading in Asia, where equities also were back in the red, snuffing out a nascent recovery. "But overall, we do not think long-only investors will pay too much attention in the short term with the focus being more from shorter-term traders".

Dai-ichi Life Holdings dropped 1 percent, T&D Holdings fell 2.2 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 0.9 percent. The greenback was down 1.1 against the franc, its worst drop in more than six weeks.

Trump further ratcheted up the rhetoric in remarks this afternoon, suggesting that his "fire and fury" comments may not have been tough enough.

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A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement on Wednesday it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large U.S. military base.

Investors reacted by driving up the price of gold and bonds, traditional safe investments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 94.55 points, or 0.43 percent, to 21,954.15, the S&P 500 lost 19.51 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,454.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 76.39 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275.94.

The dollar index .DXY , which measures the US currency against a basket of other major currencies, fell 0.14 percent. The Russell 2000 index gave up 1.7 percent to 1,372.54.

However, shares of Dean Foods tumbled, trading 20.1 per cent weaker at US$11.96 as of 2.24pm in NY, after the USA dairy processor posted quarterly results that fell short of expectations and downgraded its full-year forecast amid "a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment".

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 1 cent to $49.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.4 percent to 3,261.75. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London.

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