North Korea Tensions Hit Global Stock Markets

Javier Stokes
August 14, 2017

US stock futures eased early Wednesday, as investors kept watch on an increasingly tense situation between the North Korea and the U.S.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE100 was down over one percent, Germany's DAX traded 0.5 percent lower, while the French CAC40 index was 0.62 percent in the red, as of 9:00am GMT. Meanwhile, markets in Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries were also lower, and so-called futures signaled that USA markets would also open down.

"We're through most of the earnings season and the valuations [in the stock market] become a bit problematic when you have something like North Korea come up, "says Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors".

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday. But for the week the S&P 500 lost 1.3 percent, its worst weekly showing since March. The Dow slumped by 1.1 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 tumbled by 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 percent to almost a three-month low.

Trump had told North Korea to not "make any more threats" to the US or the country "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". The comments follow reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 38.25 points, or 0.62 percent, at 6,255.12.

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Similarly, PML-N leader Musaddiq Malik expressed sorrow over the child's death and sent his condolences to the family. The incident enraged the local resident who later raised slogans against Nawaz Sharif.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 26.34 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,368.39.

Cempra (CEMP) is leading the biotech sector lower after reporting a narrower than expected second quarter loss but weaker than expected revenues. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific that has a USA military base. Discovery Communications fell 70 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $23.60.

Travel website operator Priceline fell 7.26 per cent, weighing the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, following a disappointing forecast. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slid 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $52.18.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents U.S. on Wednesday. Silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.07 an ounce.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet. They suggest the US and China, a North Korean ally, could work together to de-escalate the situation.

The pound was down 0.1% against the euro at 1.10.

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