Jittery stock markets fall amid global tension over North Korea

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 13, 2017

Stocks are ending broadly lower on Wall Street, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the past year.

Brewing tensions between the USA and North Korea put investors in a selling mood again Thursday, dragging US stocks lower for the third day in a row. Macy's was down 4.4 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter.

The sabre-rattling - sparked when President Donald Trump stunned the world with an apocalyptic warning to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea - continued Thursday as Pyongyang mocked the United States leader as "bereft of reason".

THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and USA indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days".

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,319.71. The Dow slid 33.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,085.34.

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%.

Major U.S. indices had posted record highs in recent weeks. "You're less than 2 per cent off the high for the S&P heading into a weekend where uncertainty with North Korea still lingers".

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

Other markets: Oil prices were under pressure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-head-lower-as-global-tensions-continue-unabated-2017-08-11), with prices 0.7% lower after the International Energy Agency said oil supply rose for a third month as compliance with an OPEC output deal faltered.

The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the US dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. Investors welcomed new data showing US inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

The pound was up 0.3% against the euro at 1.1091 and down nearly 0.1% on the dollar at 1.2994. Brent crude, used to price global oils, was down 16 cents to $51.74 a barrel in London. Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.

Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session on Wednesday (Aug 9) as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors. In Asia, several indexes closed lower overnight.

After the bell, Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA.O shares were up 0.7 percent following the release of its results. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent. Discovery Communications fell 94 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $23.36.

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