Dow Jones witnesses worst drop since May amid geopolitical tensions

Dow Jones witnesses worst drop since May amid geopolitical tensions

Dow Jones witnesses worst drop since May amid geopolitical tensions

NO ALARM: Envision Healthcare was up 4.5% to $57.50 after the ambulatory surgery center company said it will sell its medical transportation business to KKR.

The broader Topix shed 0.65 point to 1,617.25, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 8.16 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 14,367.56.

Palladium climbed 1.1 per cent to $900.85 per ounce.

Financial stocks underperformed after U.S. Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose in a flight to safety by nervous investors.

The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.21 percent.

Every major market index was down at midday.

Investors took more profits as rising tensions between the US and North Korea weighed on investor sentiment for a second straight session, but stocks pared declines near the close to leave the major averages at their highs of the day.

"People are concerned that a shouting match could lead to someone pressing a button", said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

Small attributed a large part of the Dow's decline to disappointing earnings from Disney after the media giant reported a weak quarter, said it would pull its movies from Netflix and start two of its own video streaming services. "We do believe the trend is still up". The Swiss franc eased against dollar about 0.1 percent to 0.9645 per dollar, having surged about 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

Mylan NV was down 7.99 percent after the EpiPen maker cut its 2017 and 2018 forecasts.

Offsetting the declines was a 0.4 per cent gain by the materials group, which includes gold producers.

Instead, investors headed for safe havens, such as gold, which gained as much as 1.2% - a near two-month high - in Wednesday trading.

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Canadian Tire Corp Ltd rose 3.4 percent to C$146.65.

Trump warned North Korea again on Thursday not to strike Guam or United States allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

"But now we're seeing increasing rather than diminishing tensions", he said.

"There was some skittishness earlier but then some buyers stepped in", he said.

Speculative positions in USA gold futures remain subdued, said UBS strategist Joni Teves.

"You'd need to see something more tangible than just rhetoric for a broader pullback", Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY.

Crude oil prices tumbled on the back of the selloff on Wall Street and lingering concerns over global oversupply.

The Nasdaq finished the day at 6,216.87, a slide of 135.46, while the S&P 500 lost almost 1.5 percent, ending the day at 2,438.21.

In parallel, traditional safe havens such as gold were and the Japanese yen were higher, with the former rising 0.91% to $1,274.10/oz. while dollar/yen was lower by 0.52% at 109.76. A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in a challenge to Beijing's territorial claims, officials told Reuters.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,962. With the sell-off on the day, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 fell to their lowest closing levels in a month. Utilities closed up 0.3% while the materials sector was the S&P's biggest loser with a 0.9% drop.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,847 to 678.

Shares of US department stores Kohl's and Macy's were weak after their results.

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