ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2017

North Korea nerves rattle stocks, lift gold, yen

11 August 2017, 12:13 | Jodi Jackson

Retail brands surprise on Wall Street

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92. Early in the day, North Korea revealed a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers.

Officials from the South Korean presidential office earlier insisted the North Korean threat may have been aimed at multiple objectives, including causing the kind of confusion and chaos now seen in both South Korea and the United States, which in turn may weaken the alliance between the two, rather than signaling its actual or imminent armed provocation.

"They believe that we are not true USA citizens, when we do have plenty of Chamorro people going into the USA military and serving for their country and dying for their country", he said.

He added, "I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they're going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world".

The FTSE 100 index was pulled down 0.6% to 7,498.17.

Later in the session dollar traders will be busy monitoring producer prices in the USA, ahead of the key inflation figure tomorrow. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent. Job openings jumped 8 percent to 6.2 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

At 1.30pm, the United States will announce the jobless claims report, and economists are expecting it to remain steady at 240,000.

Gold was the big victor Wednesday as stocks pared back to moderate losses and Walt Disney (DIS) dragged on the Dow, while Netflix (NFLX) and Priceline Group (PCLN) hindered the Nasdaq and retailers took some brutal hits after reporting second-quarter results. The Volatility Index increased 39% to 15.41, a level not seen since mid-May. The index dropped to a one-month closing low.

Retailers' results are being keenly watched by investors to gauge the companies' strategy to counter No. 1 online retailer Amazon.com's growth.

Spot gold rose 0.6 per cent to $1,267.79 per ounce at early trade.

TECH SLIDE: Technology stocks, which lead all other sector stocks with a gain of more than 20 percent this year, fell the most.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.19%.

The major European markets also saw continued weakness on the day.

In the United Kingdom, the stock of TV giant ITV was down 1.9 percent in early trading, and Sky shares were down 0.5 percent, while Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 fell 1.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries extended the upward move seen in the previous session amid ongoing geopolitical concerns.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

Snapchat parent Snap Inc.(SNAP), Nordstrom Inc.(JWN), News Corp.(NWS.AU) and Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) will report after the close.

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