Markets

Wall Street finished a hard week on a high note

Wall Street finished a hard week on a high note

Also underpinning a move higher in the precious metal, was data showing a continued slowdown in the pace of inflation as consumer prices rose less than expected in July. The S&P 500 is set to end the week down 1.4%, its biggest weekly loss since March.

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

"Both (PPI measures) were well below consensus and give us no hope that consumer price inflation is going to materially beat expectations", said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

After threatening to visit "fire and fury" on North Korea, President Donald Trump said that maybe the warning "wasn't tough enough".

The latest sell-off was the most severe yet, amounting to the biggest single-day drop for the stock market in almost three months.

"There's not a great incentive to buy big", said Lerner of SunTrust Advisory.

The euro was 0.14 percent higher against the dollar. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 204.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.01, just shy of its low point for the day. The expanded index S&P 500 rose 0.1 % to 2441,32 points. The stock lost 89 cents to $3.82. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower.

ASIA'S DAY: South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 percent to 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2 percent to 26,883.51.

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Several indexes closed lower overnight.

USA stocks were on track for their biggest weekly loss in months, shaken by disappointing earnings results and an escalation of threats between the US and North Korea.

Gold has risen to its highest level in nearly two months, while the Swiss franc has powered against the USA dollar and seen its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years.

The yen tends to benefit during times of geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds should a crisis eventuate. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was almost flat on the day at 93.646, remaining above last week's 15-month low of 92.548.

"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. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95. The major indexes were coming off their biggest single-day decline since May 17.

In terms of forex market movements, the U.S. currency lost significant ground relative to majors including the yen, sterling and the euro - most notably the latter one - as the news on inflation went public. Rival TripAdvisor also slumped after its latest quarterly report showed that online and transaction revenue growth fell sharply. "Whether it is a credit crunch in China, policy error from the Fed, or fear of an over-valued US stock market, there are many reasons to maintain a balanced multi-asset portfolio that has exposure to defensive asset classes and currencies".