Markets

Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions

Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions

The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea.

Tech stocks (-2.2%) led the retreat, sending the tech-heavy Nasdaq (-2.1%) and the S&P 500 (-1.5%) below their 50-day MAs for the first time in a month; the Dow fell 0.9%.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

While at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Trump pledged North Korea would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" amid the country's latest nuclear threats.

A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station on Thursday. On Monday, the S&P 500 and Dow closed at record highs.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 percent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August previous year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.

Gold prices turned higher after unease over North Korea, reversing the downward move after the jobs data lifted the dollar.

Nordstrom shares were up 1.63 percent at $45.60 following the apparel retailer's better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales.

Chelsea have not followed-up rejected lowball offer for Drinkwater
The reigning Premier League champions will also be looking to bring in another three more players before the window closes. The former also has only 12 months remaining on his current deal and has asked for a move away from Goodison Park.

Gold enjoyed another strong session as traders sought out safe havens, with the price lifting 0.1% to 1,287.8 United States dollars an ounce.

"It looks like a technical correction, but if there's more bad news in the days to come, or if geopolitical tensions escalate, this short-term correction could become a major correction for stock markets here and globally", CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said.

Markets have tended to shrug off North Korea's sabre-rattling in the past, dismissing it as bluster, but the latest tensions have added to jitters.

The indicated US market moves reflect a selloff across global stock markets Friday.

Travel website operator Priceline fell 7.26 percent, weighing the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, following a disappointing forecast.

USA crude rose 0.41 percent to $48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract advanced 20 cents to $49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to $2.95 per mmBTU. Crude briefly pared losses in late trading after US inventories fell more than expected last week.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.17% against the dollar to $1.2981 and fell 0.1% against the euro to 1.1051 euros.


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