ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 22, 2017


Asian stocks slump on profit-taking amid US-NKorea tensions

13 August 2017, 07:12 | Kelvin Horton

S&P, Dow hit record highs as Apple climbs

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the USA and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent.

The Dow and S&P 500 clinched record closes on Monday, Aug. 7, marking the 35th all-time high for the Dow this year, a streak not seen since the 38 record closes in 2014. The index fell as much as half a percent, with utilities leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite lost 37 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,332.

The sabre-rattling - sparked when President Donald Trump stunned the world with an apocalyptic warning to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea - continued Thursday as Pyongyang mocked the USA leader as "bereft of reason".

North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent.

Safe havens benefited from the move away from stocks - gold rising again to around $1,290 an ounce after surging 1.3 percent Wednesday - but other risky assets such as oil and copper held their price.

South Korean stocks extended losses late Friday as North Korea risks continued to weigh on the main index. Twenty-First Century Fox gave up 46 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $27.57.

Retailers Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS), and Gap (GPS) are also among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week.


Netflix and red hot chip company Nvidia dropped around 4%.

Travel and media companies led USA stocks lower in afternoon trading Wednesday as some rare earnings disappointments weighed on the market.

Offsetting the declines was a 0.4 percent gain by the materials group, which includes gold producers. And certainly, many believe confidence is too high: On a cyclically adjusted price-earnings basis, USA equity valuations have already exceeded the highs seen before the 1929 crash.

However, bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N), were down about 1 percent on the dimming prospects of another rate hike this year.

Manulife Financial Corp was down 1.1 percent to C$25.64.

In European markets, the French CAC 40 was down 0.7% and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.2%.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.

In oil, the price of Brent crude sunk by 0.5% to 51.65 United States dollars a barrel amid concerns about over supply in the market.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar weakened to 110.35 yen from 110.72 yen.



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