Monday, 18 December, 2017

US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions
Nellie Chapman | 13 August, 2017, 22:46

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 percent to almost a three-month low.

Traders snapped up shares in companies that delivered strong quarterly results. On the Nasdaq, 1,685 issues fell and 615 advanced favoring decliners.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 39 cents to settle at $49.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the sell-off, losing 135.46 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216.87. "I would expect the markets to react again pretty negatively to any more tough talk from either side, but for now, everybody seems to have settled down, and we'll see what happens".

American and South Korean officials said they would move forward with large-scale military exercises later this month, which North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.3 per cent to C$21.74 as the price of gold, a safe-haven asset, reached its highest levels in two months.

In other corporate results, a number of companies reported forecast-beating numbers. Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.9 per cent to 3,201.45.

It said job cuts are likely as it looks to save £145 million a year by 2022, but it said it was too early to say how this will affect the combined workforce of almost 7,300 in the UK. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares declined 0.6 percent.

Some investors are on edge after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury". North Korea responded with threats to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a USA territory.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off.

S&P 500 index futures slipped 5.10. points, or 0.1%, to 2,434.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 16 points to 21,820.

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4%.

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

Nvidia soared 55% this year after notching the biggest gains in the S&P 500 in 2016.

Focusing on United Kingdom stocks, Old Mutual was among the biggest fallers after saying it was taking a "cautious" approach to the dividend despite hiking half-year profits.

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the USA presidential election.

Macy's slumped 4.3 percent after reporting its 10th straight decline in a key sales measure.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days.