Economy

European markets end lower amid geopolitical tensions

European markets end lower amid geopolitical tensions

"If you think this is just rattling sabers, and it's just words, then you could view this as a buying opportunity".

U.S. markets held steady in trade on Friday, with the Dow Jones up 0.2%.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 68.30 points, or 1.08 percent, at 6,284.03. Major stock indexes across Europe and Asia also posted weekly declines.

On the London stock market, mining shares saw the biggest falls as many metal prices were hit by the geopolitical concerns.

"There seems to be a heightened fear of an escalation", said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

The S&P 500 volatility index jumped again on the latest jawboning in the US-North Korea standoff. It slipped Friday but was up more than 50% for the week.

Among company results, Prudential easily beat analysts' profit forecasts at the half-year stage thanks to strong trading in Asia and said it had met its target for surplus cash generation ahead of schedule.

Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported another quarter of shrinking sales.

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Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

Blue Apron shares hit a record low at US$5.03 after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

European markets followed suit with the DAX down 1.15% to 12,014.30 and the CAC 40 off 0.59% to 5,115.23.

A weaker-than-expected July consumer price data also supported the recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 204.69 points, or 0.93 percent, at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 35.81 points, or 1.45 percent, to end the session at 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 135.46 points, or 2.13 percent, to 6,216.87. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June.

Friday's report was the latest in a string of lackluster inflation readings, which have surprised many investors who had entered the year betting on an upsurge in economic growth and inflation.

Despite the ongoing turmoil, investors' focus was slowly returning to the U.S. economy after Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans said Wednesday it would be "reasonable" to announce the beginning of a reduction of the Fed's balance sheet next month.


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