ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2017


S&P closes barely lower despite North Korea tensions

11 August 2017, 03:05 | Myron Mathis

FOREX-Safe-haven currencies rise as North Korea tensions brew

US-North Korea spat rattles Wall Street

Gold prices continued to rise after North Korea state media warned its missiles could surround the U.S. territory of Guam in an "enveloping fire" in coming weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 per cent to end at 21,844.01, the only close below 22,000 since breaking through that level for the first time August 2.

Heading into Thursday, some 89 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported quarterly results.

The euro bought $1.1739, compared with $1.1760 late Wednesday in NY.

Sterling was little changed against the greenback at close to a 2-1/2-week low, having lost around 2 percent since the Bank of England last week voted 6-2 to keep interest rates on hold at their record lows.

Asian markets finished lower on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-continue-to-fall-after-wednesdays-selloff-2017-08-09), with losses of over 1% for the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index.

Following Trump's remarks, North Korea on Wednesday said it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the US Pacific territory of Guam, which is home to a large US military base.

The three major US indices have sold off this week amid investors' jitters after Trump said on Tuesday that threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

And with that, the S&P 500's steak of 58 days without a 1% move in either direction came to an end.


Stocks across Asia-Pacific markets are lower today amid rising geo-political tensions in the region. Consumer-focused companies and banks were among the biggest decliners. Global benchmark Brent also fell 0.9%, to $51.44, after Thursday's 1.5% drop.

Technology companies led a broad slide in US stocks Thursday afternoon, putting the market on track for its biggest loss in two months. Dillard's slumped 15.5 percent after the chain booked a loss for the second quarter as increased inventory led to big discounts.

OIL: Crude oil gave up early gains.

Investors opted for the perceived safety of US Treasuries, which pushed the yield on the 10-year note three basis points lower to 2.21%.

Worries about increased US-North Korea tension also weighed on the Canadian dollar, which weakened against its US counterpart, despite higher oil prices and stronger-than-expected domestic housing data. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 26 cents to $52.96. December-dated gold futures finished the day up 1.3%, or $16.70 at $1,279.30 per ounce.

The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop.

It is still the best performing G10 currency so far this year with gains of more than 11 percent against the dollar. The euro rose to $1.1753 from $1.1752. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95. "So we're not going to get to a year-over-year number of 2-percent until some of these very low readings drop out of the statistics 6 to 10 months from now". Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent. Against the yen, the euro last traded at 128.29 yen, down 0.2 percent.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.175 while the dollar fell 0.6 percent to 109.68 yen.



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