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US stocks slide amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

12 August 2017

The blue-chip index ended the week down 2.7%.

Copper traded at $2.912, down 0.25%, while natural gas tacked on 0.23% to $2.991. TripAdvisor shares shed $1.75, or 4.4 percent, to $37.80.

The euro was down 0.4 per cent at just over $1.17 and nearing a two-week low, while the New Zealand dollar tumbled a full one per cent as its central bank head bluntly said he wanted it lower. Trading was thinner than usual, with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday.

"It's about time somebody stuck up for the people of this country and the people of other countries, so if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough", Trump told reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on vacation.

Wall Street closed sharply lower last night after US President Donald Trump issued a new round of fiery rhetoric, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or US allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific territory.

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Some market participants say the paring of bearish bets against the Japanese yen has probably added to its gains this week.

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

Despite the risk-off attitude in the market, stocks in NY were taking back some losses at the London equities close, as bargain hunters entered the market following steep falls in United States stock indices earlier this week.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 85.43 points, or 0.39 percent, at 21,963.27, the S&P 500 was down 10.31 points, or 0.42 percent at 2,463.71.

Gold continued to benefit from risk aversion, with the precious metal standing at USD1,286.67 an ounce at the London equities close compared to USD1,268.44 an ounce on Thursday.

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CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar fell to 110.32 yen from 110.74 yen late Monday in Asia. Excluding food and energy components, PPI was also down 0.1% m/m in July, while the annual rate moderated to 1.8% from 1.9%, missing forecasts of 2.1%. July's 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2%.

"The concern is about how this could devolve into a fairly messy state of affairs that would cause markets to sell first and ask questions later", said March Luschini, chief market strategist at Janney Capital Markets.

The biggest fallers were Standard Life down 16p to 410.8p, Rio Tinto down 109.5p to 3,370p, Old Mutual down 6.2p to 195.3p, Anglo American down 39p to 1,238.5p.

Shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook fell more than 2% Thursday. The Anglo-South African insurer and investment group said its interim profit and revenue grew strongly, but said it is taking a careful approach to dividends as it prepares to separate out its operations.

The euro was struggling on Thursday as it came under pressure from the latest bout of risk-off, with traders seeking to unwind some of their positions following the strong rally seen over the past month. Its net profit came in at A$445 million ($351.8 million), under the A$523 million reported previous year.

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US stocks slide amid heightened US-North Korea tensions