Stocks in Europe and Asia Slip as North Korea Tensions Rise

13 August, 2017, 11:11 | Author: Terri Saunders

South Koreans watch a television displaying news broadcasts reporting on North Korea at a station in Seoul today.

United Kingdom stocks headed sharply lower again on Friday, as the escalating tensions between the US and North Korea rattled investors and helped drive a global selloff. Fear of military conflict helped to knock £40 billion off the value of London's stocks in three days, analysts said.

Gold - generally regarded as a safer asset in times of uncertainty - hit its highest price for more than two months on Friday, touching $1,288.97 an ounce at one point. "North Korea responding with a threat to US territory after Trump warned them not to threaten the USA was never going to go down well", Lawler said. The statement has dominated the headlines, and is one of the main drivers in the markets.

The South Korean Won is also suffering, falling by 0.8% to a four-week low against the USA dollar.

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In oil, the price of Brent crude sunk by 0.5% to 51.65 USA dollars a barrel amid concerns about over supply in the market.

On Friday, chief executive Bruce Hemphill said Old Mutual is making "excellent progress" in the break-up as he celebrated a 37% rise in adjusted operating profit to £969 million.

Housebuilders Persimmon and Barratt Developments were among the biggest gainers of the day, up 1.58% and 1.02% respectively.

The biggest fallers were Standard Life down 16p to 410.8p, Rio Tinto down 109.5p to 3,370p, Old Mutual down 6.2p to 195.3p, Anglo American down 39p to 1,238.5p.

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