U.S. stocks extend fall on North Korea tensions, S&P down 1pct

Ivan Schwartz
August 13, 2017

Still, analysts said the market seemed to be a bit skeptical that the North Korea situation would grow into a major crisis, noting that the losses were still not that deep.

After touching a more than two-month high at US$1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 per cent to US$1,288.81 an ounce. KLA-Tencor gained $2.52, or 2.9%, to $90.07, while Seagate Technology added 97 cents, or 3.1%, to $32.53. Falls of just 0.3% were recorded by both the Dow Jones industrial average and the more broad-based S&P 500 in early trading. The fact that ended with a 1%-plus drop, however, might be good news.

Canada's main stock index posted its lowest close in five weeks on Friday, weighed by a move lower in financials and a fall in shares of auto parts maker Magna International Inc despite reporting better-than-forecast quarterly profit.

Phipps said investors were reassured after Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan's said on Friday that the Fed needs more evidence of progress toward its inflation goal before raising rates again.

US stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday, making up much of the ground they lost earlier following a rare batch of earnings disappointments by Walt Disney and other big companies.

Markets in Italy, France and Germany also saw declines.

The data maintained concerns surrounding lower than expected United States inflation which could deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates again this year.

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Excluding energy and food prices, core PPI fell by 0.1% month-on-month, while analysts anticipated the index to rise by 0.1 percentage points to 0.2%.

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.

For now, the dollar remains on the back foot, pulling back 0.1% to 0.9635 Swiss francs today, after dropping as much as 1.2% to a two-week low overnight.

But in the US, Wall Street opened tentatively higher as consumer inflation data showed signs of life after months of weakening price pressure. For the week, the index lost 1.5 percent. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter.

On the economic front, data is expected to show that USA consumer prices likely rose in July after being unchanged the prior month. Humana Inc. rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96.

Overall, gold retreated to around $1.285 per ounce later in United States trading.

The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the USA dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.

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