World markets slide for third day on political tension
World markets slide for third day on political tension
S&P, Dow Hit Record Highs as Apple Climbs
12 August, 2017, 06:13
Canada's main stock index hit its lowest close in a month on Thursday as oil prices fell and investors sought refuge in safe-haven assets amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has rallied 19 per cent so far this year, last week posting its highest close since 2007 amid strong earnings from some of the region's key companies and optimism USA interest rate increases will remain gradual.
Developments regarding the situation with North Korea may remain in focus next week, although traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on retail sales, housing starts, and industrial production.
Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric against North Korea and its leader on Thursday, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory.
The Nikkei finished down 8.97 points, or 0.1 percent, at 19,729.74, erasing early morning gains.
The euro was down 0.4 percent at just over $1.17 and nearing a two-week low, while the New Zealand dollar tumbled a full 1 percent as its central bank head bluntly said he wanted it lower.
US stock futures were marginally softer on Friday. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.7 percent lower at 7,489. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%.
Also adding support to gold was disappointing U.S. economic data which reduced the chances of a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this year.
Many world stock markets have hit record or multiyear highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off, and the tensions over North Korea proved to be the trigger.
The precious metal is often seen as a safe haven for investors during times of uncertainty.
Earlier, the dollar slipped as low as 108.91 yen, its weakest level since June 14, when the greenback fell as low as 108.81 yen.
The US producer prices data was slightly below consensus forecasts with both headline and core prices declining 0.1% on the month.
"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.
The yen held steady against the dollar, taking a breather after having risen on Wednesday to its highest level in almost eight weeks. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped by 2.3 basis points to 2.189%. In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September.
Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,284.64 per ounce as of 0616 GMT, but was set for a weekly gain of over 2 percent.
Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.
Crude oil prices fell on Thursday, on concerns of lingering global oversupply as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and OPEC boosted its July production numbers.
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