Economy

North Korea talk drags stocks lower; gold, yen rise

North Korea talk drags stocks lower; gold, yen rise

The index's losses mirrored global markets, which fell after incendiary words between the United States and North Korea.

For the week, the London index is looking at a 2.4% drop, which would be its biggest weekly loss since April. That's a much steeper drop than the ones experienced by the Dow and S&P 500.

"If the market truly believed the North Korea reaction was imminent, I think it would be down a lot more than it is", said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management. The 30-year bond last rose 28/32 in price to yield 2.7759 percent, from 2.818 percent late on Wednesday. The big economic news of the day will come after Asian markets have moved on to the weekend, however, with the release of USA consumer price index inflation data for July.

The Dow ended a nine-day streak of closing records, falling by 0.24%, while the Nasdaq fell by just under half a percent and the S&P was down by 0.21%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76.

However these stocks - along with tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent - have been among the top performers all year.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, US, August 10, 2017.

Trump took specific aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying, he had "disrespected our country greatly", and would not be "getting away with it".

The dollar was further weighed Friday by the soft USA inflation data.

Nervous investors drove shares lower earlier in the week, after President Trump declared Tuesday that the USA would react with "fire and fury" to further nuclear provocations from North Korea.

Trump further ratcheted up the rhetoric in remarks this afternoon, suggesting that his "fire and fury" comments may not have been tough enough.

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Still, the market has had several fits and starts over the past few months. Investors are leaving the index to look to traditional safe-havens such as the Swiss franc, the dollar, or gold. It's still the highest it's been since May.

Trading volume also picked up in the late afternoon of what had been a sleepy summer session while the U.S. Congress is expected to be in recess until Sept 5. -North Korea tensions and the weak data that further reduced expectations of a Fed rate hike in December.

Health care equipment and services company Henry Schein declined amid a broader slide by health care stocks.

Biotech companies Celgene and Amgen lost 3.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound.

SeaWorld Entertainment shares lost more than 6 percent. Some of Canada's biggest banks were also influential decliners, but closed with only moderate losses.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent last month, which was below the 0.2 percent rise expected by economists polled by Reuters.

US crude futures extended losses from Thursday, when they tumbled 2 percent on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over a global oversupply. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London. It is poised to end the week down 1.9 per cent. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent. Silver gained 1 cent to $17.07 an ounce.

The Japanese yen last strengthened 0.03 per cent versus the greenback at 109.22 per dollar. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $1.63 a gallon. The mood then hit Europe, where Frankfurt's DAX dropped 1.1% and the CAC-40 in Paris fell 1.4%.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 39.02 points to 15,217.33, with most sectors finishing in the red while bullion stocks surged almost 1.9 per cent.

The index was down 1.44% or 108.12 points to close at 7389.94 on Thursday in its worst performance for four months. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.