Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

United States markets weak; Dow loses over 200 points

United States markets weak; Dow loses over 200 points

Stocks around the world slipped and US futures were steady Wednesday as fresh interest-rate concerns, worries about a new hurricane threatening the USA coastline and rising tensions over North Korea continued to hit sentiment.

A lack of consensus among the US, Russia and China on how to pressure Kim Jong-un to abandon his nuclear ambitions after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test on Sunday pushed investors towards safe-haven assets.

September is typically the worst month in the year for stocks, with the S&P falling 0.5 percent on average.

The Nasdaq sunk 59.76 (-0.93 percent) to close at 6,375.57, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,457.85, down 18.70 (-0.76 percent) from its open.

The United States blamed North Korea's trading partners on Monday of aiding its nuclear ambitions and the White House declared that "all options to address the North Korean threat are on the table".

Financials, including Seven Bank, mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ and Resona, insures Dai-ichi Life and MS&AD and major brokerage Nomura Securities, were downbeat on falls in USA long-term interest rates following Brainard's comment.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 27.84 points, or 0.1%, to 19,357.97, with financials and automakers ending the session lower.

United States markets weak; Dow loses over 200 points
United States markets weak; Dow loses over 200 points

In Europe, markets were also lower, with stocks cutting their morning gains and investors shifting into bonds and the yen.

Wall Street held mixed mid-week after a short-lived rebound earlier in the day.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and his Dallas counterpart, Robert Kaplan, are also slated to speak at different events later in the day.

Investor sentiment in the Tokyo market was also dampened by the yen's rise against the dollar, triggered by U.S. Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard's "dovish" remark on interest rate hikes, brokers said. This September could be particularly nail-biting as Wall Street may face a rough ride if there is a showdown in Washington over the US budget and the federal debt ceiling.

British shares fell on Wednesday, weighed down by losses among banks and housebuilders although they ended off lows hit on simmering geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula.

On the data front, are due at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT), followed by the Institute of Supply Management's report on August at 10:00AM ET (1400GMT).

But Dow member United Technologies fell 5.7 percent, with declines accelerating after Boeing, a customer of both companies, suggested it could try to prod regulators to block the deal. Rockwell shares were up 0.75 percent.

We have many military options
It would be the sixth time North Korea has conducted a nuclear test, after previous ones in 2006, 2009, 2013, and two in 2016. As a major trade partner with North Korea, that would include stopping all bilateral trade with China.

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