FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

Gains among technology companies helped snap a three-day losing streak for USA stocks Friday, though the market ended with its worst weekly loss since March.

Geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on Wall Street amid an ongoing escalation in tensions between the USA and North Korea.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 35.81 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,438.21.

The Dow ended a nine-day streak of closing records, falling by 0.24%, while the Nasdaq fell by just under half a percent and the S&P was down by 0.21%.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 40.25 points, or 0.68 percent, on volume of 29,918 contracts.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.36 percent to $1.1812.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with a decline of 1 percent from the previous close.

The Korean won also continued to fall, down 0.45 percent to 1,147.2. The Nasdaq composite fell 35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,336.

Seagate Technology gained 2.3 percent after investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company.

The Labor Department is also expected to issue its Producer Price Index (PPI), which is likely to have remained unchanged at 0.1 percent in July.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 percent to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 percent.

The Chinese volatility gauge jumped by the most since January 2016, to its highest level in more than seven months.

Politics lifted USA defense stocks.

The focus on North Korea has largely overshadowed a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in United States producer prices in the month of July.

The price of gold rose 1% to 1,274.39 USA dollars per ounce, with Fresnillo and Randgold Resources up 72p to 1,544p and 200p to 7,380p respectively.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.

Data showed USA 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. On August 9, it rose 1.4% to 11.11.

Internet, computer hardware, retail, and financial stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors. Copper rose 1 cent to $2.91 a pound. Brent crude slid 80 cents USA, or 1.5%, to US$51.90.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.

On the currency markets, the pound was marginally higher against the United States dollar at 1.30 and up 0.1% versus the euro at 1.11.

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