Markets Right Now: US stocks trade lower at midday

Markets Right Now: US stocks trade lower at midday

Markets Right Now: US stocks trade lower at midday

The Nasdaq Composite was down 37.30 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 6,315.03.

U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric toward North Korea on Thursday, saying the reclusive communist country should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks about attacking the United States or its allies.

Wall Street stocks indexes were higher in afternoon trading, on track to snap a three-day losing streak, as tepid inflation data brought back investors to riskier assets despite heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The tensions between North Korea and the U.S.is an excuse for profit-taking", Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

Friday was the FTSE's third straight day of losses after USA president Donald Trump said that his earlier remark to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang may not have been tough enough.

The technology sector .splrct was the biggest weight on the S&P 500 index with a 1.9-percent drop. He added that in China, the USA and South Korea, stocks that are showing the biggest declines since the rise of tensions between the US and North Korea are the companies that have risen most since June.

Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, said: "What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the U.S. and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it".

However, U.S. stocks recovered temporarily late on Wednesday as investors appeared to brush off the geopolitical concerns following encouraging comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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Investors again sought safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping gold hit a more two-month high.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

However, bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, were down about 1 per cent on the dimming prospects of another rate hike this year.

The strength on Wall Street is partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions.

Belgian drugmaker Galapagos was a rare bright spot, finishing up 4.8 per cent as brokers upgraded their view on the stock which also outperformed on Thursday after a successful drug trial. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 2.215%.

Oil prices were lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.05 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1763 from $1.1773.

London's FTSE 100 closed about 80 points, or more than 1%, lower on Friday, adding to a slump of more than 100 points the day before.

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