Economy

North Korea Has Markets Nervous But Not Panicked

North Korea Has Markets Nervous But Not Panicked

Safe-haven demand rose after North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, where a USA military base is located, shrugging off President Donald Trump's earlier warning that further threats to the United States will be met with "fire and fury".

After the Pyongyang government outlined plans to fire rockets near the U.S. territory of Guam, President Trump said his previous warning "wasn't tough enough". The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading up 0.2% at 21,894, while the S&P 500 index was up by 0.2% at 2,442, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3% at 6,236.

In oil, the price of Brent crude sunk by 0.5% to 51.65 USA dollars a barrel amid concerns about over supply in the market.

A warning from President Trump on North Korea pushed USA stocks in the red on Tuesday.

The Japanese market was closed in observance of the Mountain Day holiday.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The greenback slipped 0.83 per cent to a near two-week low against the Swiss franc and fell to 110.11 yen, its lowest in almost two months against the Japanese currency.

Worldwide, stocks fell for a third day as North Korea increased tension between it and the US with a threat to land a missile just short of the US Pacific territory of Guam. It earlier hit its highest since June 8 at $1,288.97 an ounce. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plummeted 560.49 points or 2% to 26,883.51.

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Sterling slipped below $1.30, close to a two-and-a-half-week low but it strengthened against the euro by 0.2%, following Tuesday's 10-month low.

Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Silver rose 1.7% to $16.70 per ounce.

While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1%.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days. July's 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

In the economic calendar on Friday, France's consumer price index is at 0745 BST.

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.

Shares of Snap were off about 13 percent premarket following the social media company's earnings that came below estimates and a slew of price target cuts.

"Although we certainly can get a 5 to 7 percent correction, we don't think it's the start of a significant bear market", Peterson noted.


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