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11 Agosto 2017, 02:43 | Dolorita Barahona
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"Traders would require nerves of steel to start buying into the stock market now, given standoff between the US and North Korea", David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets U.K., said in a note to clients.
The Nikkei slumped to its lowest close for nearly three months yesterday, leading an Asia-wide sell-off sparked by President Donald Trump's apocalyptic warning over North Korea's weapons programme.
But although USA equities on Wednesday managed to close only slightly down even after Trump's warning that "fire and fury" would rain on North Korea, on Thursday the chickens came home to roost on Wall Street.
Gold enjoyed an impressive single-day jump - its biggest in almost three months - as the rising tensions between the US and North Korea lifted safe-haven demand.
The FTSE 250 was down 0.47% in afternoon trading against a backdrop of heightened geopolitical tensions caused by rising antagonism between the USA and North Korea.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down less than 0.1 percent to finish at 19,729.74.
Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still dipped by 0.1% in July after creeping up by 0.1% in June.
Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.
Economic docket: Data on tap includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m.
Shares of Macy's (M.N) tumbled 9.5 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) 6.7 percent after the department store operators reported a drop in quarterly same-store sales that stoked concerns that their turnaround may still be a long way off.
At the other end of the index, Ibstock closed among the FTSE 250's worst performers, down 4.6%, despite reporting a rise in pretax profit to GBP38.9 million for the first half of 2017 from GBP37.9 million the prior year.
Cempra (CEMP) is leading the biotech sector lower, extending the pullback seen over the course of the previous session. The benchmark USA yield on Thursday was just above 2.2 percent, at its lowest level since late June, as investors bought up Treasuries, a classic safe harbor. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2.
"European indices are following their Asian counterparts lower once more today, as the risk aversion seen over the past two days continues apace", said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony in a note.
METALS: Gold added $10.80, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1,290.10 an ounce.
Tokyo was flat by the break as the yen stabilised against the United States dollar after the greenback edged higher from eight-week lows Wednesday. Bank of New York Mellon fell $1.56, or 2.9 percent, to $52.48, while Citizens Financial Group slid 86 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $34.17.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent to 12,068 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.3 percent to 5,133.
The RBNZ had held rates at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday and reiterated that policy would stay loose for a considerable time to come.
How major U.S. stock market indexes fared Wednesday
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