ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com October 20, 2017


Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions

13 August 2017, 05:07 | Kelvin Horton

U.S. stock indexes opened higher for the first time in four days on Friday after tepid data pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising rates again this year, even as concerns lingered over rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The tensions, since Trump's "fire and fury" comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

United States stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.

The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9 percent to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1 percent to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5 percent to 2,438.21.

"When you have a market like we have had this year, and it has been amazingly calm, and you introduce a major source of uncertainty, there is bound to be some reaction", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial.

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent. "I think a few investors are capitulating to it".

The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.35 points, or 0.31%, at 6 236.22.

The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 34.8 per cent, the biggest increase since May.


The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week.

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

Macy's dropped 4.2 percent as it reported second-quarter revenues fell 5.4 percent to $5.6 billion, another sign of the travails facing department stores. Financials fell the most, down about 1 percent.

On the USA economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest uptick in consumer prices in the U.S.in the month of July.

However, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley suggested on Thursday that the central bank was on track to raise interest rates once more as he expects sluggish inflation to rise over the next several months.

Travel operator TUI flew slightly higher after reporting on a strong third quarter performance, with sales and profits taking off during the early summer months, although it left its full year targets unchanged.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1 339 to 865. On the Nasdaq, 1,685 issues fell and 615 advanced favoring decliners.



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