Markets Right Now: Stocks slide on Wall Street

Gladys Abbott
August 11, 2017

Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled US stocks broadly lower Tuesday, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was almost flat at 2,474.02.

The broader Topix shed 0.65 point to 1,617.25, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 8.16 points, or 0.1 per cent, to end at 14,367.56.

The Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak, rising rose 1.12 percent versus the greenback at 0.96 per dollar.

South Korea's won dropped 0.9 percent against the USA dollar to its lowest close since July 13.

The U.S. dollar fell to 110.48 yen from 110.72 yen late Monday.

Shares of Kohl's were down 2.05 percent in premarket trading, while Macy's fell 0.91 percent after the department store operators reported a fall in sales.

The dollar's weakness in early Tokyo trading also stemmed from a report of North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency that the country is carefully considering making missile strikes on areas around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, market sources said.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still dipped by 0.1 percent in July after creeping up by 0.1 percent in June.

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Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption Japanese investors may repatriate their foreign holdings in times of heightened global uncertainty.

Consumer-focused stocks, media companies and banks accounted for much of the market decline. It was last up 0.0 percent at 1.1329 per euro.

The RBNZ kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday.

Yields on core government debt fell.

The benchmark index tumbled 1.3 per cent on Wednesday to hit the weakest closing level since May 31 in the wake of US President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.9 basis points to 2.212 percent.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 27/32 in price to yield 2.8252 percent, from 2.867 percent late on Tuesday.

Gold hit its highest in nearly two months after Trump added to the geopolitical anxiety by boasting of the strength of the US nuclear arsenal.

Oil prices rose after a report showed US refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories. The Nasdaq composite lost 36 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,315.

USA crude rose 0.69 percent to $49.51 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.66, up 1 percent on the day. The strength in the sector came as gold for December delivery jumped $10.80 to $1,290.10 an ounce.

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