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11 Agosto 2017, 10:27 | Dolorita Barahona
Trump pounds North Korea
Market sentiment remained largely in risk-off mood on Thursday as the latest escalation of tension between North Korea and the United States showed no sign of dissipating.
On Wednesday morning, Trump again spoke of nuclear weapons on Twitter, claiming that the USA will always be the most "powerful nation in the world".
Concerns over geopolitical risks probably led investors to pare back bearish bets against the yen and the Swiss franc, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, referring to the gains in those currencies on Wednesday.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent to finish at 19,996.01, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 5,743.80. Later, speaking to reporters, President Donald Trump demanded that North Korea "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble.
Until this week, the equity market had managed to shake off negative news, including previous saber-rattling over North Korea and failures in Washington to pass high-profile bills, such as repealing and replacing Obamacare.
"Since these are the stocks that have been in the spotlight the most, they tend to have the most volatility upwards and downwards", said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota, Florida.
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.
USA gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,281.20 per ounce.
"This is Janet Yellen's favoured labour market indicator and could reinforce Yellen and her colleagues about the path they have set for policy normalisation", he said.
Escalating tension between the USA and North Korea has dominated sentiment in financial markets this week as the spat threatens to boil over into military confrontation.
"But the USA president at a gold [sic] links again let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury, ' failing to grasp the on-going grave situation", the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Thursday.
Jobless claims increased to 244,000 in the latest week, although continuing claims declined. USA shares were also set to dip, with Dow and S&P futures both inching down 0.1 percent.
A series of downbeat corporate reports also weighed on US stocks.
Crude oil prices fell on Thursday, on concerns of lingering global oversupply as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and OPEC boosted its July production numbers.
Trader reaction to company earnings also contributed to the slide on Wall Street, which had been trading in record territory.
In commodities, USA crude fell 0.67 percent to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.58, down 0.23 percent on the day. The price of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of above $3,500 this week, dragging up the value of hundreds of newer, smaller digital rivals in its wake.
A US proposal for Mexico and Canada to vastly raise the value of online purchases that can be imported duty-free from stores like Amazon.com and eBay is emerging as a flashpoint in an upcoming renegotiation of the NAFTA trade deal.
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