Jittery stock markets fall amid global tension over North Korea

  • Jittery stock markets fall amid global tension over North Korea

Jittery stock markets fall amid global tension over North Korea

USA stocks clawed back losses late on Wednesday as investors appeared to brush off geopolitical concerns after falling in the wake of President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 36.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,048.70.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,467.

The Nasdaq Composite number was down 16.88 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 6,353.58.

It was a down day for Asian stocks, as traders shied away from riskier assets amid the ongoing war of words between North Korea and the U.S. The biggest loser in the region was Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which dropped 1.1%.

Nevsun Resources Ltd offset some of the material group's gains, plunging 18.4 percent to C$2.685 after the company reported disappointing quarterly results.

Michael Kors climbed 21.5% after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved.

First, a wave of selling doused Asia's markets - sending Tokyo's Nikkei 225 down 1.3% and pressuring South Korea's Kospi Index to a 1.1% decline.

US stocks felt significant early drag, with the S&P 500 down 0.5% at the open. Economists had expected another 0.1 percent uptick.

The RBNZ held rates at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday and reiterated that policy would stay loose for a considerable time to come.

The latest sell-off was the most severe yet, amounting to the biggest single-day drop for the stock market since May 17. The kiwi bounced from near one-month low of $0.7309 struck overnight as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand took a less dovish tone than some had feared. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 4.02 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,410.15.

Meanwhile, gold stocks are bucking the downtrend, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.2 percent.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.

U.S. government bonds strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.229%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.246% on Wednesday.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.79 yen from Tuesday's 110.34 yen.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 21 cents to $49.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

US crude CLcv1 rose 1.08 percent to $49.70 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $52.78, up 1.23 percent on the day.

Gold prices closed up around 1.48% at $1,281.30 per ounce on Wednesday.

Against the Swiss franc EURCHF=EBS, it fared slightly better and was broadly flat on the day at 1.1319 francs per euro.

Separately, U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products.