Markets

US stocks slide amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

US stocks slide amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) ended down 33.08 points, or 0.15 percent, at 22,085.34, snapping a 9-day streak of closing records.

Declines in USA stocks accelerated Thursday, a pullback that many investors and analysts said had been overdue with indexes at highs and volatility near record lows.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 143.08 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 15,074.25, its lowest close since July 7. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower.

The Nasdaq Composite number was down 16.88 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 6,353.58.

North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a US-held Pacific island, after President Trump's warning on Tuesday.

"U.S. -North Korean military tensions continued to dominate sentiment, pushing U.S. bond yields down and increasing the price of gold", analysts at VTB Capital said in a note. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman all rose, with the Dow Jones US defense index up 1.48 percent at 409.58.

The unease about the relationship between the US and North Korea was more prominent in other markets, several market strategists said. The Russell 2000 index gave up 1.7 per cent to 1,372.54.

Retailers' results are being keenly watched by investors to gauge the companies' strategy to counter No. 1 online retailer Amazon.com's growth.

Netflix and red hot chip company Nvidia dropped around 4%.

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The president's chief spokesman added that Buhari sent his appreciation to all Nigerians and was optimistic that he would join them soon.

Investors reacted by driving up the price of gold and bonds, traditional safe-haven plays.

Data showed US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents USA, down from an average price of 78.71 cents United States on Wednesday.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts.

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.

South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 per cent to 2,319.83 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.8 per cent to 26,946.81.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.24 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1756 from $1.1773.