United States stocks veer lower in afternoon trading; oil closes lower

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 13, 2017

The euro inched down 0.1 percent to $1.1744 while the dollar index against a basket of major currencies added 0.1 percent to 93.620. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The broader Topix shed 0.65 point to 1,617.25, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 8.16 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 14,367.56. Trump's comments followed reports the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile. The sell-off has extended to the European and Asian sessions on Friday.

"While the US President insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution", Carnell said.

President Trump announced that North Korea's threat would be "met with fire and fury and power".

Trump's second warning, however, has shaken markets that have been largely resilient this year, swatting away a slew of risks. During the session it sank to its lowest level since May. Netflix was down 3.22 percent.Travel website operator Priceline fell 6.72 percent, while travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 7.74 percent after both the companies issued disappointing forecasts.Mylan NV was down 4.88 percent after the EpiPen maker said delays in launching key new drugs and eroding prices for generics in the United States would hurt its profitability this year and in 2018.Burger chain Wendy's was up 4.20 percent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales. Still, all three gauges are within 5 percentage points of record levels. The S&P 500 hasn't pulled back by 5% or more since June 2016.

The remarks followed a new report asserting that US intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

Wall Street indices opened modestly higher later on Friday as United States investors looked for an end to the three-day losing streak.

On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday. It was down 0.1 percent at 109.07 yen, after retreating 0.8 percent on Thursday.

The yen is perceived as a safe haven because Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and investors there have tended to repatriate funds in times of crisis.

"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.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The dollar was down 1.2 percent at 0.9627 Swiss francs, while an ounce of gold was 1 percent higher at $1,275.

South Korea's won currency dropped 0.9 per cent against the dollar to its lowest close since July 13.

Stocks going ex-dividend included BT, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Lloyds, and pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca, taking around 41 points off the index.

Investors on Thursday scampered to safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping the precious metal hit a more two-month high. Seagate shares rose 69 cents to $32.24.

They were down 0.7 per cent at $48.24 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.7 per cent. By the end of the day almost $1 trillion in equity had been lost globally.

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