Yen firms after North Korea says considering plan to strike Guam

Xavier Trudeau
Août 13, 2017

While the data gave investors appetite for growth sectors such as information technology and biotechnology it soured them to rate-sensitive stocks such as banks, said Keith Lerner, Chief Market Strategist, SunTrust Advisory services in Atlanta.

J.C. Penney (JCP.N) finished down 16.6 percent after hitting a record low following the retailer's bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Oil prices were headed higher. The Russell 2000 index gave up 24.40 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,372.54.

Japan said it had conducted joint air drills with US supersonic bombers in Japanese skies close to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday as tension in the region escalates amid North Korea's continued ballistic missile tests. Pacific territory, which has a large US military base.

National turnover was 2.82 billion securities traded worth $5.9 billion.

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

The report said labor productivity climbed by 0.9 percent in the second quarter after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in the first quarter.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.175 while the dollar fell 0.6 percent to 109.68 yen. The stock fell $1.01 to $22.02. Dillard's slumped 15.9 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts. Kohl's also declined, sliding $3.62, or 8.6 percent, to $38.31.

In a note sent to clients late on Thursday, the US bank predicted the single currency would rise to $1.25 in the first quarter of next year and reach parity with sterling for the first time. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

USA crude shed 20 cents to $48.97 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 26 cents to $51.88 a barrel.

Manuel Oliveri of Credit Agricole said about the single currency,"The euro has become more correlated to risk in recent weeks and sentiment is still a bit cautious", adding "though the euro upside trend is likely to remain intact over the longer term".

In commodities, United States crude fell 0.67% to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.58, down 0.23% on the day.

Looking at the yen, overnight trading was fairly subdued with a 109.89/110.16 range taking hold. The major index futures are now pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 30 points. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Bond prices were little changed.

The Korean won also continued to skid, down 0.45 percent to 1,147.2, falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a month. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent to 5,760.90, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,357.84.

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