Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Markets Right Now: Stocks drop, led by technology companies

Markets Right Now: Stocks drop, led by technology companies

Thai shares fell as much as 0.5 per cent, hurt by industrials, while Malaysian shares fell slightly as industrials and consumer discretionary stocks lost ground.

There had earlier been falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down.

"The market hates uncertainty and that's certainly what we have now", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

"BP and Shell were both down 1.5 percent, while the likes of Rio Tinto and Anglo American plunged anywhere between 2 percent and 2.8 percent". The S&P 500 was down 6 points, or 0.25 percent, and the Nasdaq was down 35 points, or half a percent. Earlier, the average had been down more than 88 points.

The dollar extended losses against the yen to hit a new two-month low.

Worries over a potential confrontation between the United States and North Korea weighed heavily on global stock markets on Wednesday but helped boost the price of assets, such as gold and the Swiss franc, that are considered safe havens in times of geopolitical peril.

North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam with missiles in a response to Trump's incendiary comments on Tuesday that threats to the United States from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury".

The United States and Japan have commenced a joint military training with more than 3,500 troops following unending war threats by North Korea.

Investors instead turned to safe-haven assets such as gold, pushing it to a two-month high, and the Japanese yen JPY= rose. But the moves were modest.

The RBNZ kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday.

"We do just not know what happens next with the North Korea situation", said BNY Mellon FX strategist Neil Mellor.

House 'blown apart' by explosion in Sunderland
In a post on a local community group, she said: "There must be a God somewhere, how the hell can anyone survive that explosion". Northumbria police said on Twitter that they were aware of the incident and that emergency services were attending the scene.

Travel website operator Priceline Group Inc fell 6.9 percent after a disappointing financial forecast. The stock lost $5.07 to $101.91.

The Korean story has seen the yen gain around 1.5 percent this week, its biggest rise since mid-May.

Shares in several other big media companies also declined.

Fossil tumbled 25.1 percent after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates. The company booked a hefty charge and said its CFO is leaving the company.

GOT A PULSE: Health care stocks, which have been in a slump, were headed higher. Against the yen, the euro last traded at 128.29 yenEURJPY=R, down 0.2 percent.

The geopolitical turmoil appeared to have more of an impact overnight and into early Wednesday.

While the German DAX Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.9 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in six months. The stock shed $1.37 to $4.74.

Hong Kong was down 1.1%.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 22 cents to $49.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

USA crude oil crude futures CLc1 edged up 10 cents to $48.69 per barrel. Silver also rose, gaining 47 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

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