U.S. stocks close slightly lower, trimming earlier losses

13 August, 2017, 14:22 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • AFP  Getty Images     
       A Swiss franc note on display at the Swiss National Bank

The gold price rose late Tuesday (August 8) after US President Donald Trump warned that North Korea's threats to the US "will be met with fire and fury".

"The VIX index of implied future volatility on the S+P 500 index (the so-called 'fear index), jumped to a three-month high of over 15, and we saw growth-orientated stocks under-perform their value counterparts across developed stock markets".

Gold - generally regarded as a safer asset in times of uncertainty - hit its highest price for more than two months on Friday, touching $1,288.92 an ounce before slipping back.

"Many fear that as a U.S. ally, the United Kingdom is also susceptible to being dragged into an unnecessary and unwanted conflict".

The euro slid 0.3 percent to 129.34 yen, and fell 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.1743.

"As a portfolio manager, you say, 'Do I think we'll get a war out of this?'", said Torsten Slok, chief worldwide economist at Deutsche Bank.

SeaWorld Entertainment slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft U.S. inflation data.

Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific with a military base.

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USA crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

Concluding with oil, WTI was last 1.0% down on the day, just above $48 a barrel, while Brent crude was 0.9% down, around $51.40 a barrel.

Shares of U.S. department stores Kohl's and Macy's were weak after their results.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei was 1.2 percent lower as the stronger yen sapped investors' appetite. The UK trading session took USD/CHF lower to hit a day low of 0.9630 towards the closing bell, but closed up slightly on the day by 0.03%.

Chinese bluechips lost 1.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 1.9 percent lower. "The North Korea situation appears to be the culprit".

After touching a more than two-month high at US$1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 per cent to US$1,288.81 an ounce. Northern Star Resources was up 3 per cent, while Evolution Mining rose 2 per cent, Newcrest Mining gained 2.3 per cent and Resolute Mining rose 2.1 per cent. Westgold Resources was the biggest gainer, rising 6.6 per cent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.22 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

In terms of forex market movements, the USA currency lost significant ground relative to majors including the yen, sterling and the euro - most notably the latter one - as the news on inflation went public.

The 30-year bond last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8107 per cent, from 2.818 per cent late on Wednesday. The media giant's stock dropped approximately 5 percent in early trade and shaved off about 43 points from the price-weighted Dow.

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