Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions

Global stocks fall on Trump's North Korea warning; US$ up after data

US stocks close lower after President Trump's remarks to North Korea

Overnight, Wall Street closed sharply lower after Trump, with fiery rhetoric, warned Pyongyang against attacking Guam or USA allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.08 points, or 0.15 percent, to 22,085.34, the S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,474.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.31 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,370.46.

Investors have been jittery about North Korea since Tuesday when Trump said any threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.01 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.26 per cent for a weekly loss of 1.6 per cent, the largest since the week to November 4.

The S&P 500 volatility index jumped again on the latest jawboning in the US-North Korea standoff.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off. Bucking the trend, shares of Travelers and those of Home Depot rose, recently up 1.1 percent and 1 percent respectively, posting the biggest percentage gains in the Dow.

"The high drama has prompted traders to take their cash out of stocks, and invest it in safer assets like gold".

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell back 1.3 percent, driven by losses in the commodity sector.

The tensions, since Trump made his "fire and fury" comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

According to data from Bloomberg, the price of gold rose as much as 1.59% to £1,276, while the price of silver spiked 2.61% to $16.84 as some investors looked to safe-haven assets following the growing row.

In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

Priceline Group dropped 8 percent after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract advanced 20 cents to $49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to $2.95 per mmBTU.

Gold fell $2.10 to $1,262.60 an ounce.

Meanwhile, shares of Kraft Heinz rose as the U.S. food and beverage company, which has struggled with flagging sales, and Oprah Winfrey announced a new line of "four "flavourful soups and four savoury sides" under the name O, That's Good! as part of a previously-announced partnership between the two".

"The escalation of the geopolitical situation between the USA and North Korea is beginning to rattle investors' nerves as was witnessed in the VIX index yesterday", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. Crude briefly pared losses in late trading after US inventories fell more than expected last week.

CURRENCIES: The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.1176 while the dollar was steady at 109.20 yen.

Latest News