US President's North Korea comments batters blue-chip stocks

US President's North Korea comments batters blue-chip stocks

US President's North Korea comments batters blue-chip stocks

The possibility of war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula is "very low" and tensions between the US and North Korea will probably dip around September or October, according to Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

Gold got an extra boost after data showed United States consumer prices rose less than expected in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year. Should losses extend after markets open, it will mark Wall Street's fourth day in a row and the Dow's retreat from a record-making stretch at the beginning of the week that extended nine days.

Equity markets had traded with a soft tone in Europe and there was a sharp increase in selling pressure in NY with the S&P 500 index declining by close to 1.0%.

Subdued U.S. inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, which have weighed on the dollar.

Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base. Shares of Macy's lost 10% and Kohl's fell 5.8%.

"Pretty remarkable, perhaps even extraordinary, considering", said Tim Ash, strategist at fund manager BlueBay.

European markets followed suit with the DAX down 1.15% to 12,014.30 and the CAC 40 off 0.59% to 5,115.23. The yen and gold continued rising, while the Swiss franc took a breather against the dollar (last trading at 0.9660 francs) and the euro, but kept most of its yesterday's hefty gains.

ASIA'S DAY: Earlier, Asia bore the brunt of the mounting geopolitical uncertainty, with South Korea's Kospi index closing down 1.7 percent at 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ending 2 percent lower at 26,883.51.

The Japanese currency is often a safe have asset too.

The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) Stock in the Investor Spotlight
It improved, as 35 investors sold EMN shares while 172 reduced holdings. 128 funds opened positions while 459 raised stakes. The basic materials company reported $1.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $1.89 by $0.09.

US stocks moved slightly lower in midday trading Wednesday as investors weighed the growing tensions between the USA and North Korea.

"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.

Below that level lies another key technical chart support level for the dollar at 108.13 yen, a trough the US currency k plumbed in mid-April.

The pound was down 0.09% against the euro at 1.1049 and down nearly 0.2% on the dollar at 1.2978.

"Given the speculative flows positioning for possible yen repatriation, we could see the psychologically significant 109.00 level give way", Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at OANDA, wrote in a note.

The latest U.S. economic data cemented expectations that inflation will remain subdued amid a robust labour market.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.3 percent to C$21.74 as the price of gold, a safe-haven asset, reached its highest levels in two months. Its weekly gain of 2.6 per cent is the largest since June 2016.

United States crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 40 cents to $52.54 in London.

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