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12 Agosto 2017, 02:53 | Dolorita Barahona
Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street
North Korea could just be an excuse for people to cash in winning stocks, especially tech companies like Apple and Facebook.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.11) gained 0.2 point, or 1.4%. It slid 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $51.90 per barrel on Thursday.
Dudley also cautioned that "it's going to take some time" for inflation to rise to the central bank's 2 percent target even as he offered a generally positive outlook for the USA economy, job market and price pressures.
Sterling was last trading at $1.3013, up 0.30 percent on the day. India's Sensex shed 0.5 per cent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.
The bid for safe havens also pressured the Australian and New Zealand dollars.
A statement from the North Korean military called President Donald Trump's warning that the communist nation would face "fire and fury" if it continued its provocations a "load of nonsense". That prompted North Korea to say it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a U.S. Pacific island territory.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat.
That said, Wall Street has proven resilient lately, shrugging off negative news coming out of Washington.
'For quite some time the market hasn't really reacted to things on the Korean Peninsula because we know from the past it is largely North Korean sabre-rattling, and it may yet be. "They may increase the market's volatility for a couple of days".
US stocks closed lower for the third day in a row Thursday, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the past year.
The increased geopolitical tensions this week, centred on the Korean peninsula and the nearby U.S. territory of Guam, have caused stock markets around the world to fall back as investors turn cautious.
Trump's threats have escalated since reports broke at the beginning of the week that North Korea had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could fit inside its missiles. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 percent to 5,779.20, while South Korea's Kospi fell 1.1 percent to 2,342.19. The Dow slid 0.2 per cent to 22,085.34. Apple is still up 35% for 2017 and hovers near a record high. The Nasdaq composite lost 68 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,284.
Traders will also get the opportunity to respond to fresh USA consumer inflation data on Friday. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.90 a pound.
FED WATCH: As well as monitoring the geopolitical backdrop, investors are looking ahead to an appearance Thursday by Bill Dudley, president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of NY, for signs of the Fed's outlook on the economy.
Subdued US inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, weighing on the greenback.
The yen on Friday added to a strong weekly rally against the dollar of close to 1.5 percent, hitting its highest level versus the greenback in nearly four months, at 108.73 yen. On the Nasdaq, 1,685 issues fell and 615 advanced favoring decliners.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $48.47 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Looking to commodities, oil prices eked out gains in early trade, however sentiment was capped as concerns linger over OPEC's ability to rein in supply. It declined 23 cents on Tuesday to $52.14.
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