Economy

Korean stocks down 1.1 pct on heightened tensions over N. Korea

Korean stocks down 1.1 pct on heightened tensions over N. Korea

Tensions spiked yet further when North Korean state media later said Pyongyang was considering strikes near USA military installations in Guam.

The Japanese Yen saw broad gains in the wake of the rhetoric bandied about by the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

The Swiss franc and the yen had notched up impressive gains against the dollar on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.77 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.37 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,135.20 won against the USA dollar, down 10.10 won from the previous session's close.

Stocks ended with slight losses, stopping the Dow's streak of nine consecutive record high closes, as the major indexes traded listlessly within a narrow range throughout the day.

Thursday also marked the worst one-day percentage drop for all three benchmarks since May 17, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-slide-as-concerns-over-trump-grow-2017-05-17) according to FactSet data.

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

"The market had been complacent for a while regarding headlines from North Korea".

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CURRENCIES: The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.1176 while the dollar was steady at 109.20 yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second-quarter results late Wednesday, rallied 10.7 percent to C$22.47. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

Yields on core government debt fell. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 2.226 percent. In the euro zone, German 10-year yield are down 1.5 bps at 0.46 percent.

The remarks, following North Korea's earlier revelation of a plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, gave investors a reason to pocket profit in the sectors, such as technology, that have been the biggest gainers in recent months, analysts said.

Trump's comment pushed Wall Street lower, with only utilities making gains, and drove the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility on the S&P 500 to its highest in nearly a month.

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45. Brent crude was up 30 cents at $53.00 a barrel.

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading.

Copper lost 0.39 percent to $6,454.50 a tonne.


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