Friday, 18 August, 2017

Wall Street falls on North Korea concerns

Wall Street falls on North Korea concerns Wall Street falls on North Korea concerns
Marta Holmes | 14 August, 2017, 00:20

The pan-European benchmark on Wednesday fell 0.7% in a selloff prompted by tensions between the us and North Korea escalated.

Now installed in the White House, Trump issued a new warning to Pyongyang on Friday, tweeting: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely". "Gold and silver are higher, thanks mainly to their status as safe-haven commodities". This week has seen its biggest rise since June 2016.

The 30-year bond last /32 in price to yield 2.7933 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday.

"For now, tensions are high, yet in all likeliness we will see this intensity simmer down somewhat, with both sides standing to lose more than they would gain from military action", he added.

"European indices are following their Asian counterparts lower once more today, as the risk aversion seen over the past two days continues apace", said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony in a note. The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect, jumped to its highest level since May. The euro zone's version is at its highest since April, when France's election was rattling the region.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the US Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large USA military base.

This week, tensions have escalated between North Korea and the USA after the United Nations Security Council last weekend hit Pyongyang with new sanctions as punishment for North Korea's aggressive missile testing programme.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 share index.N225 closed down 1.3 percent at its lowest since June 1 as the strong yen hit exporters, while South Korea's KOSPI index.KS11 fell 1.1 percent to seven-week lows. "Pretty remarkable, perhaps even extraordinary, considering", said Tim Ash, strategist at fund manager BlueBay. Shanghai's main index also tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.4%. They suggest the US and China, a North Korean ally, could work together to de-escalate the situation.

"This situation is beginning to develop into this generation's Cuban Missile crisis moment", ING's chief Asia economist Robert Carnell wrote in a note.

Traders turned towards safe-haven assets such as gold, helping the precious metal touch a two-month high, and the Japanese Yen rose. Gold climbed 1.3% in the previous session, its biggest gain since mid-May.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide. India's Sensex shed 0.2 percent to 31,951.28 and benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand also declined. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.3 percent.

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