Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions

Stocks plunge over North Korea tensions”

Financial companies and department store operators were among the big decliners.

After previously warning of "fire and fury" if North Korea persisted in threatening the U.S., President Donald Trump said Thursday his statement "wasn't tough enough". The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.9 percent to 21,844.01.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 per cent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August past year. The UK trading session took USD/CHF lower to hit a day low of 0.9630 towards the closing bell, but closed up slightly on the day by 0.03%.

Trump warned North Korea again on Thursday not to strike Guam or USA allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang, if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough. Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

There have been some markets which have benefited from the U.S.

If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea's government China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

FINANCIALS FALLING: Several financial sector companies also helped pull down the market.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down. The stock lost $2.81 to $9.03. Despite the losses, Noble shares rose 17.14 percent. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, losing $166.50 to $1,882.50.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. Against the yen, the euro last traded at 128.29 yen, down 0.2 percent.

Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission released last week showed that currency speculators still held a large net short position in the yen during the week ended August 1, although somewhat smaller than the levels seen a couple of weeks earlier, when their bearish bets against the yen grew to the largest since January 2014. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday.

Oil prices gained 60 cents to $50.16 US per barrel.

USA gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 per cent to $1,281.90 per ounce on Thursday. The spot gold price was up 0.7 per cent at $1,286.07 per ounce by 1400 GMT, after hitting an earlier high of $1,286.40, its highest level since June 8. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound. The Japanese currency last traded at 109.07 yen to the dollar, compared to levels around the 110 handle seen earlier in the week. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe slumped.

France's CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent after a auto hit a group of soldiers in a Parisian suburb in what was said to be a deliberate act, while Germany's DAX was also down 1.1 percent as bond yields fell. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares declined 0.6 percent. Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,238.53. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent.

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