Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between U.S. and North Korea


Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between U.S. and North Korea

Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.93 per cent to close at 21,844, the S&P 500 fell 1.45 per cent to close at 2,438 and the NASDAQ lost 2.13 per cent to close at 6,217.

North Korea responded to the threat with a warning of their own saying it was "carefully examining" the idea of a missile strike in Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. While, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down by 0.8%. Over the next three months, the average gain has been good but not great - +1.15%.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who often has emphasized the devastating costs of any conflict with North Korea, seemed to back up Trump's tone.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.0 percent to C$93.36, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 2.8 percent to C$24.93.

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

Strong gains in NY, where the Dow saw repeated record highs up until three day ago, had kept investor optimism high when news of the conflict first broke, Currie said.

But safe havens benefited from the move away from stocks with gold rising by just under one percent after surging 1.3 percent Wednesday.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil was little changed at $1.63 a gallon.

To that end, gold prices shot up to near $1,300 an ounce - their highest level in several months. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, was down 35 cents to $51.55 a barrel in London. Perrigo rose $2.17, or 2.8%, to $79.01.

The benchmark United States yield yesterday was just above 2.2 per cent, at its lowest level since late June, as investors bought up Treasuries, a classic safe harbor.

US stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 per cent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that US President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day.

The dollar slipped to 109.04 yen from 109.26 late Thursday. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.