Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

Wall Street opens lower as North Korea tensions escalate

Wall Street opens lower as North Korea tensions escalate

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 36.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,048.70.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.90 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02.

The NASDAQ tumbled 104.81 points, or 1.7%, to 6,247.69, with Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Netflix all trading lower.

'Stock markets in Europe are still under pressure because of the heightened tensions surrounding North Korea, ' said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. The stock fell $4.15 to $102.83.

Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as investors find little to like in the latest batch of corporate earnings.

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses.

Equities in Toronto fell hard by noon Thursday, despite better-than-expected quarterly results, as investors sought refuge in safe-haven assets amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Still, even with the week's moves, USA stocks remain near their all-time highs. The number of people who applied for US unemployment-insurance benefits rose by 3,000 to 244,000 in the week that ended August 5, the Labor Department reported.

Pres. Trump doubled down this afternoon on his earlier "fire and fury" warning to North Korea, saying his earlier statement may not have been tough enough; stocks followed by sinking to their lows of the day.

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Gold hit its highest in nearly two months after Trump added to the geopolitical anxiety by boasting of the strength of the USA nuclear arsenal.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances on the day, resulting in a 2.4 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. Also, the figures and forecasts of auto rental company Avis were disappointing and that share trimmed 10 percent.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.8% to US$17.04 per ounce, after hitting its highest since June 15 earlier in the session.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. The euro edged down to $1.1726 from $1.1751.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes US10YT=RR rose 9/32 in price to yield 2.2494 percent, from 2.282 percent late on Tuesday. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2%.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3005, up 0.12 per cent on the day.

The December gold contract was ahead US$16.70 to US$1,279.30 an ounce.

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