Markets extend losses as Korea tensions escalate

US STOCKS-Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Tech firms drag stocks amid N. Korea jitters

By the end of the day almost $1 trillion in equity had been lost globally.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 per cent at end at 2,474.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 per cent to 6,352.33.

TOUGH TALK: Tensions between the US and North Korea continued to simmer early Friday.

The latest tensions began after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, but the tense mood dragged Asian shares lower and an MSCI index of stocks across the globe posted its largest weekly drop since the week before Donald Trump won the USA presidential election in November. He assured that the "people of our country are safe, our allies our safe".

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".

Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, said: "While the tough talk about the potential for war (between the U.S. and North Korea) is scary, investors have heard it many times before". Both the core and headline rates are expected to have risen by 0.2 percent during July. Economists had expected another 0.1% uptick.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended August 5th.

Technology companies were leading a broad slide in US stocks in early trading Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports.

Sterling slipped below $1.30, close to a two-and-a-half-week low but it strengthened against the euro by 0.2%, following Tuesday's 10-month low.

Cempra (CEMP) helped to lead the biotech sector lower, extending the pullback seen over the course of the previous session. The stock lost $2.81 to $9.03.

In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

The Office for National Statistics reported that overall industrial production rose 0.5% in June on the preceding month, stronger than the 0.1% that the agency had calculated in for its preliminary estimate for the second quarter, after May's production was revised to flat.

Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil. The strength in the sector came as gold for December delivery jumped USD10.80 to USD1,290.10 an ounce.

"With the North Korean authorities taking the heat off the nuclear threats, we expect the market pressure to cool off, as long as the US President also manages to read "truce" between the lines".

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

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.01 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.26 per cent for a weekly loss of 1.6 per cent, the largest since the week to November 4.

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