Stocks Recover To Thin Losses; Retail Names Hit Hard

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LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - World stocks fell for a third day on Thursday and investors moved back into the Swiss franc, yen and gold as North Korea ratcheted up tensions with the United States with a threat to land a missile just short of the us territory of Guam. Wall Street was poised for further losses at the opening bell, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.3 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 6,352.33) lost 18.1 points, or 0.3%.

Late Tuesday, North Korea had said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a usa territory, after Trump's warning earlier in the day. Geopolitics is a binary wild card that usually only provides a temporary boost to safe-haven assets. "Safe-havens are bid and markets are a little uneasy".

Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session on Wednesday (Aug 9) as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors.

The VIX rose further on Wednesday, rising as far as 12.11, its highest in nearly a month.

That prompted North Korea to say it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a U.S. Pacific island territory.

In Europe, the pan-continental STOXX 600 index fell 0.9 per cent, with falls deepening after a auto rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six, in what officials said was a suspected terrorist attack.

South Korean shares were down 0.9 percent and the won was 0.6 percent lower at 1,134.10 at 0048 gmt.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.71 cents US, down 0.20 of a USA cent. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.1 percent to 7,414. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 1.1 percent to 27,444.00.

The ongoing muscle-flexing by the United States and North Korea is keeping investors on edge, which explains the growing allure of the precious metals as a safe haven.

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The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5 per cent to around 109.70 per dollar.

The Swiss franc rose 0.01 per cent versus the greenback, the most since late June, at 0.96 per dollar. The Swiss currency was also on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015. The euro fell to $1.1728 from $1.1757.

On August 8, despite trading at new record high price levels, the market pulled back and closed lower due to the decreased risk appetite.

The dollar also slipped 0.26 percent lower against the yen to 110.01 yen.

Yields on core government debt fell. Netflix also fell, giving up $4.57, or 2.6 percent, to $173.79.

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading.

'Escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea seriously spooked the European indices after the bell. "What is bothersome to me is, for decades, we've heard this kind of rhetoric coming out of North Korea".

Oil prices were lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.

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