Economy

Wall Street higher but on track for deep weekly losses

Wall Street higher but on track for deep weekly losses

Investors' unease over escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea had weighed on stocks earlier in the day, pushing gold and bond prices slightly higher.

All sectors are trading in the red, with tech (-0.6%), financials (-0.6%) and consumer discretionary (-0.5%) leading the retreat.

Investors kept a wary eye on escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea.

In a note to investors, Paul Christopher, head global market strategist, and Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation, suggest, "the threat of a nuclear weapon is certainly more serious than previous threats, but that threat also may increase the probability of a diplomatic solution".

On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.2% to flit around the 1.30 United States dollar mark, with the greenback falling in response to the latest USA inflation data. Brent crude futures lost 0.8 percent to $51.5 per barrel on persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index fell by 1.2% to its lowest closing level in over eight years.

Wall St's three major indexes ended the day down with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.15 per cent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.24 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite losing 0.21 per cent.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 42.65 points, or 1.81 percent, to 2,316.82 as of 11:15 a.m.

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Small attributed a large part of the Dow's decline to disappointing earnings from Disney after the media giant reported a weak quarter, said it would pull its movies from Netflix and start two of its own video streaming services.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Thursday not to strike Guam or U.S. allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent.

However, bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, were down about 1 percent on the dimming prospects of another rate hike this year. Oil prices veered lower as early gains faded. Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

The pound was down 0.1% against the euro at 1.10.

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.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.


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