Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

United States stocks fall as North Korea worries rise

United States stocks fall as North Korea worries rise

But losses soon resumed, with Tokyo edging down as the Nikkei again came under pressure from the strength of the safe-haven yen, which hit eight-week highs Wednesday against the dollar.

"The war of words taking place between the USA and North Korea at the moment, which includes very real threats of action, is taking its toll on investor sentiment". "That did temporarily shake investors' complacency, but we think markets are ready to move higher in the back half of the year, and earnings and economic data are going to drive that".

Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the the first mover.

Most of the reaction is to President Trump's warning on late Wednesday and North Korea's comment about exploring the idea of hitting USA territory Guam with a missile strike.

At the close trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 204.69 points, or 0.9%, to 21,844.01, its biggest one-day fall since May 17. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. While, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down by 0.8%.

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The VIX volatility index, having recently hit an all-time low, spiked from 9.54 just after Europe went home and around 10 when the comments were reported to a peak of 11.29 with 30 minutes left in the session before closing at 10.96.

The loss of appetite for risk followed North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat.

Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent to 12,068 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.3 percent to 5,133.

Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month.

By 4.10pm, the fall was hovering between 99 and 100 points - around 1.34% - down.

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Investors opted for the perceived safety of US Treasuries, which pushed the yield on the 10-year note three basis points lower to 2.21%.

Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled USA stocks broadly lower Tuesday, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. The collapse of sterling after the Brexit vote a year ago helped boost profits by 16%, the company said, adding that strong United Kingdom operations and acquisitions had also contributed to the rise.

Bond prices were little changed.

Gold added $3.90 to settle at $1,294 an ounce. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 59 cents to $53.29. The euro fell to $1.1728 from $1.1757.

But the yen added to an already-strong weekly rally of close to 1.5 percent, hitting its highest in nearly four months versus the dollar at 108.73 yen. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent.

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