Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Safe-haven currencies rally as US-North Korea tensions escalate

Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the USA and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners.

The euro was down 0.4 percent at just over $1.17 and nearing a two-week low, while the New Zealand dollar tumbled a full 1 percent as its central bank head bluntly said he wanted it lower.

It also outlined detailed plans for a missile strike near Guam, which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea and home to about 163,000 people, a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and an air base.

"When investors are optimistic to the extreme, it means that most of their money is already in the market and there's no more money coming in", Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida.

'Stock markets in Europe are still under pressure because of the heightened tensions surrounding North Korea, ' said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were all up, with the Dow Jones U.S. defense index up 1.48 percent at 409.58.

The 'Pink Slime' Debacle Cost Disney and ABC at Least $177 Million
The company didn't immediately respond to an email requesting comment from The Associated Press. "As Disney disclosed, $177 million is not the total settlement amount".

The losses came on heels of Tuesday's pullback in stocks after Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" over its nuclear ambitions. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent to 5,760.90, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,357.84.

Jitters over North Korea's announcement to launch ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam sent investors to seek safer assets in the South Korean financial market. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 2.1 percent to 6,216.87.

Priceline sank 7.8 percent as it projected third-quarter earnings below Wall Street analyst expectations. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel overnight. Netflix was down 1.8 percent. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 23 cents to $51.67 per barrel in London.

Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce. The South African Rand slipped to its weakest position against the US Dollar in a month on Wednesday, a day after widely unpopular President Jacob Zuma survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

With trading equally as quiet in the Eurozone, the Euro ended the London session unchanged, despite earlier falling below the 1.17 mark against the Dollar for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Like this: