Tillerson urges calm on North Korea, says no imminent threat

11 August, 2017, 00:12 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Trump to Senate Majority Leader'Get to Work

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.90 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02.

We are anticipating the Dow Jones to open 48 points lower at 22,000 and we are calling the S&P 500down 9 at 2465.

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, investors appeared to take some comfort in Tillerson's comments, said Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY.

The dollar index fell 0.14 per cent, with the euro unchanged at US$1.1757.

Substantial weakness was also visible among internet stocks, as reflected by the 2.8 percent slump by the Dow Jones Internet Index.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was almost flat on the day at 93.657, remaining above last week's 15-month low of 92.548.

It is unclear whether North Korea would risk firing missiles so close to USA territory, which could provoke countermeasures and further escalation. However, strength in the Health Care and Materials sectors limited the losses. A small correction during August could set the direction for the next movement in the stock markets. The yen and gold continued rising, while the Swiss franc took a breather against the dollar (last trading at 0.9660 francs) and the euro, but kept most of its yesterday's hefty gains.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.

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News late Tuesday that North Korea was reviewing plans for an attack on USA military assets on the island of Guam came just hours after President Trump had warned that continued threats would be met "with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"Most investors will be completely out of their depth in making any assessment on the (North Korea) situation", said Koon Chow, emerging market FX strategist at fund manager UBP.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Risk aversion is once again the name of the game.as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens". But the moves were modest. It rose $16, or 1.3 percent, to $1,278.60 an ounce.

Data showed US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

"We would now be careful with a whiff of risk aversion in the air and, by extension, also stay away from shorts in the rates market", RBC's global macro strategist Peter Schaffrik said.

Options traders gear up for Snap's second earnings report as a public company.

Priceline Group slid 6.9 percent after the online travel booking service issued a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting. Netflix lost 1.5 per cent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.75 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33 per cent.


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