Asian stocks slump on profit-taking after US-NKorea tensions

Gladys Abbott
August 13, 2017

Data released overnight by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) was weighing on housebuilding stocks, with the figures suggesting that declines are starting to spread beyond London as political uncertainty and tax changes weigh on the top end of the market.

USA indexes opened lower for the third straight day on Thursday as North Korea's threat to land a missile just short of the US territory of Guam added fuel to simmering tensions with the United States. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,238.53.

The thirty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 2.818 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.32, while the ten previous thirty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.29.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 143.08 points, or 0.94 percent, at 15,074.25.

Most recently, Pyongyang called President Trump's "fire and fury" threats a "load of nonsense", and detailed plans on a potential missile strike against Guam - which prompted warnings from South Korea and Japan.

By mid-morning in NY investors began to look for stocks to buy rather than offload and the Dow Jones industrial average was 38.65 points higher at 21,882.92 while the S&P 500 was...

The S&P hasn't had a move of more than 0.5 percent since July and has fallen more than 1 percent only twice this year. Financials .SPSY fell the most, down about 1 percent.

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All four of the big-tech FANG stocks opened sharply lower.

Nvidia soared 55% this year after notching the biggest gains in the S&P 500 in 2016.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. It slid 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $51.90 per barrel on Thursday. With one session left to go, the S&P 500 was headed for a weekly drop of around 1.6%, which would be its biggest since a fall of 1.9% for the week ended November 4, 2016. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound.

It was a down day for Asian stocks, as traders shied away from riskier assets amid the ongoing war of words between North Korea and the U.S. The biggest loser in the region was Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which dropped 1.1%.

In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

The pound was down 0.09% against the euro at 1.1049 and down nearly 0.2% on the dollar at 1.2978.

Overseas markets were also lower Wednesday. Unit labor costs increased 0.6% during the period, below the 1.3% jump forecast by economists. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent. Early Friday, the ICE Dollar Index was up just 0.04% to 93.437.

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