World News

FTSE ends down as shares hit by US-North Korea tensions

FTSE ends down as shares hit by US-North Korea tensions

By the close of trading, the FTSE 100 was down 84.46 points, or 1.1%, to 7,305.48, having dropped 1.4% on Thursday.

Escalating tension after U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up the rhetoric against North Korea has hit global stocks again in Asia and looks set to push Europe lower at the opening.

"Risk aversion is once again the name of the game.as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens", said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.

Tensions with North Korea appear to have finally shaken the confidence of USA investors, after the S&P 500 opened 0.8% lower, threatening to end its 15-day streak with a closing streak of more than 0.3%, a 90-year record.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 dropped nearly 0.7 percent to 5,081.92 points compared with the closing level on Thursday. Its rouble-based peer MICEX shed 1.2 percent to 1,937 points, its lowest since August 1.

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"U.S. -North Korean military tensions continued to dominate sentiment, pushing U.S. bond yields down and increasing the price of gold", analysts at VTB Capital said in a note.

The FTSE 100 is clearly in a slump, brought on in part by the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which could eventually culminate in nuclear war. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said yesterday North Korea posed no "immediate threat" and that "Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days".

Hong Kong shed more than one percent and Shanghai also closed lower, while Seoul shares continued their sell-off after slumping Wednesday, with the won again softening.

Tillerson's tone was in sharp contrast to that of U.S. president Donald Trump, who warned on Tuesday any North Korean threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

The reclusive state raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.


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