Simmering North Korea tensions knock back Wall Street

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

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

USA stocks moved slightly lower in midday trading Wednesday as investors weighed the growing tensions between the US and North Korea.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,466 as of 2:45 p.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.17% and closed at 22,048.70. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent.

The Dow slid as declines in shares of Apple and those of Goldman Sachs, recently down 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of McDonald's and those of Coca-Cola, recently up 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

In recent trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have fallen to new lows for the session.

The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index slipped 0.9 percent.

Wall Street's fear gauge-the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX-jumped 36 percent to 15.06. TripAdvisor shares shed $1.75, or 4.4 percent, to $37.80.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday.

Hope that the Fed will have to slow its rate hike path appeared to stop, at least for now, the near $1-trillion loss in world stocks valuations this week triggered by the war of words between Pyongyang and the United States. USA gold futures gained 0.26 percent to $1,293.50 an ounce.

About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on USA stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

About 6.48 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges on Wednesday compared with the 6.16 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

He said: "While the two monetary metals continue to trade mostly on real yield dynamics, some investors reacted to the escalating tension by buying these traditional safe-haven instruments".

The losses have been triggered by rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

National indexes: France's CAC 40 index fell 0.7% to 5,077.97, and in London, the FTSE 100 flopped down 0.9% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-heads-for-1-month-low-as-trump-ups-the-ante-in-north-korea-standoff-2017-08-11) to 7,326.09. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

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

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