Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

US President's North Korea comments batters blue-chip stocks

US President's North Korea comments batters blue-chip stocks

"So we're not going to get to a year-over-year number of 2-percent until some of these very low readings drop out of the statistics 6 to 10 months from now". Trading was thinner than usual, with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday.

The North Korea situation isn't the only thing weighing on stocks.

Traders reacted with dismay to his fresh warning Thursday that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on the reclusive nuclear-armed state may not have been "tough enough".

Materials, a sector that includes gold producers and other resource-based companies, was the lone gainer among the index's 10 main sectors, rising 0.7 per cent.

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4%.

Retailers slid after department stores Macy's and Kohl's both said same-store sales continued to decline in the second quarter. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.1 percent to 7,414. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%.

Subdued U.S. inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, which have weighed on the dollar.

European stocks fell Thursday, with caution still lingering as tension between USA and North Korea escalated, and as German consumer goods company Henkel AG & Co. was among the companies whose shares pulled the market toward a second consecutive decline, MarketWatch reports.

The yen tends to benefit during times of geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption that Japanese investors will repatriate funds should a crisis take place.

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Cobb told Page Six that Omarosa's inclusion wasn't the sole reason for quitting the panel, branding the event "very disorganized". Heading into the forum, numerous conference attendees said they were steeling themselves for the appearance of Ms.

Earlier, the dollar slipped as low as 108.91 yen, its weakest level since June 14, when the greenback fell as low as 108.81 yen.

In the latest economic data, the consumer-price index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-consumer-inflation-remains-soft-in-july-cpi-shows-2017-08-11) rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in July, its fifth straight month of softness, raising more questions about whether inflation will eventually rise to hit the Federal Reserve's 2% annual rate target.

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

"There are four more (inflation) prints between now and the December FOMC meeting and we expect the Fed to remain data-dependent, if a touch more cautious", TD Securities said in a research note.

Oil prices rose nearly half a percent in today's trading following a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories. That is significant because yields fall when bond prices rise.

Gold, another classic safe haven asset, was trading at around $1,285 per ounce, up more than two percent this week and near a nine-week high.

Markets remained concerned over the risk of a United States first-strike against North Korean nuclear facilities.

The price of crude oil dropped more than two percent Thursday, the cost of a barrel falling to $48.49.

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