Finance

Markets extend losses as Korea tensions escalate

Markets extend losses as Korea tensions escalate

The Dow Jones industrials average gained 14.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,858.32.

Strong gains in NY, where the Dow saw repeated record highs up until three day ago, had kept investor optimism high when news of the conflict first broke, Currie said.

U.S. President Donald Trump's boasted about the strength of the country's nuclear arsenal on Wednesday, after North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific that is home to a U.S. military base.

Gold held steady at two-month high with spot gold rising 0.1 percent to $1,287.83 per ounce, putting the precious metal on pace for its biggest weekly gains since April.

Global political tensions have seen investors sell off shares as they flee to less risky assets such as the yen and the Swiss franc.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.53 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 6,320.93.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off. Money also flowed into consumer discretionary stocks.

The FTSE 100 fell by more than 100 points as global investors continued to act on North Korea-related jitters.

The threat, reported by he state-run KCNA news agency, came just hours after USA president Donald Trump warned any threat to the U.S. would be met with "fire and fury".

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, hit a one-month high before trading around 11.7.

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In an apparent response to Trump's tweet, a statement issued by North Korea's official KCNA news agency claimed the president is "driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war".

Shares rose more than 1.3% or 4.9p to 388.5p. Netflix lost 1.5 per cent. But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.19 percent from 2.20 percent late Thursday.

The price of oil was also 0.3% ahead at 52.29 U.S. dollars a barrel, with stockpiles coming under pressure from falling crude oil imports and record processing at American refineries.

The biggest fallers were G4S down 24.7p to 305.9p, Standard Chartered down 20.9p to 783.1p, Prudential down 44p to 1,841.5p, Shire down 92p to 3,945p.

Neil Mellor, a currency strategist with Bank of New York Mellon in London, said the pound was "drifting towards the lows from last month against the dollar".

Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent to 19,738.71 and Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent to 2,368.39.

There were falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down - taking their cues from sharp losses on Wall Street earlier.


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