Friday, 15 December, 2017

Markets Right Now: Stocks drift lower on Wall Street

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
Preston Stone | 13 August, 2017, 01:12

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.

Gold prices dipped lower in US trading on Tuesday following the latest US job-openings data which increased confidence in the labour market and also triggered sharp dollar gains as EUR/USD declined to 10-day lows below 1.1720.

Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, said: "While the tough talk about the potential for war (between the USA and North Korea) is scary, investors have heard it many times before".

An attack with "enveloping fire" against U.S. military interests on the Pacific island could be conducted at any moment once approval has been given by leader Kim Jong-un, a North Korean army spokesman said on Wednesday, according to state media.

"He's been pushing the world around for a long time", he said, in reference to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The president didn't show signs of letting up on the tough rhetoric.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, a director at O'Neil Securities.

'Traders are on red alert as the mention of war has sent them running for cover.

"Japanese equities hadn't been rising much despite positive earnings results, so investors had started jumping at shadows, doubting whether they should really be holdings onto Japanese stocks".

Earlier, Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action.

Falls were also seen on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.5% about 15 minutes into trading and the Nasdaq tumbling by 0.6%.

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"We can improve and spend money but everyone can improve and is spending money". Odds of 7-10 look good for a home win. "Maybe we can capitalise on that".

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4 percent.

Australian shares were down 1.3 per cent, set for a weekly loss of 0.6 percent and Chinese and Hong Kong bluechips lost 1.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields spiked higher following the jobs data but pared gains after Trump's remarks on North Korea.

But the yen added to an already-strong weekly rally of close to 1.5 percent, hitting its highest in nearly four months versus the dollar at 108.73 yen.

Technology companies, which suffered the brunt of the selling a day earlier, were back in the lead Friday.

After touching a more than two-month high at US$1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 per cent to US$1,288.81 an ounce.

The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the US dollar, while spot gold also reached a two-month high.

Graphics chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) is also likely to come under pressure after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but revenue from its data center and automotive businesses that missed estimates.

However, shares of Dean Foods tumbled, trading 20.1 per cent weaker at US$11.96 as of 2.24pm in NY, after the U.S. dairy processor posted quarterly results that fell short of expectations and downgraded its full-year forecast amid "a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment".

US crude was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

US crude CLcv1 fell 0.55 percent to $49.12 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $52.03, down 0.65 percent on the day.

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