Economy

Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Sure, the S&P 500 has fallen 0.4% to 2,466.16 today, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 56.70 points, . The expanded index S&P 500 rose 0.1 % to 2441,32 points. The Nasdaq composite gained 39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,255.

Almost $1 trillion has been wiped out from global equity markets since Trump's vow on Tuesday to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it threatens the United States.

"The typical text book trade is that investors rush for safe havens". U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday afternoon that his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

The Swiss franc USDCHF, -0.8829% bought $1.0382 on Wednesday, representing a 1.2% rise from $1.0266 late Tuesday in NY.

Japan said on Tuesday it was possible that North Korea had already developed nuclear warheads and warned of an acute threat posed by its weapons programmes as Pyongyang's continues missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent. Two weeks ago it saw its biggest weakly fall against the euro since the start of 2015. Shares of Manulife, which reported better-than-expected results, fell after the company played down talk of a John Hancock spin-off.

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The market volatility - the VIX index, nicknamed " the fear index, had been dashed the night before - remained high compared to the evolution since the beginning of the year.

MSCI's main index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was last down 0.5 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent.

Instead, investors turned to assets that tend to benefit in times of geopolitical and financial stress. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

The technology sector was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 percent drop. Meanwhile, after jumping $10.80 to $1,290.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $6.50 to $1,296.60 an ounce.

"Heightened geopolitical risks overnight have seen the markets flip from risk-on to risk-off and we have to wait and see how long this move runs before adding some positions", said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING in London.

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ANZ fell 1.9 percent, Commonwealth shed 0.7 percent and Westpac declined 1.3 percent after RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the central bank is prepared to be patient on rates for quite some time.

Yields on core government debt fell. Ten-year USA yields dropped 4 basis points to 2.242 percent and German equivalents fell 3 bps to 0.44 per cent, their lowest since 30 June.

INFLATION: The Labor Department said consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in July following no gain in June.

"The market hates uncertainty and that's certainly what we have now", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

The rhetoric, which began late Tuesday and continued into Friday, cracked the calm that has enveloped the market for months and interrupted stocks' march higher.

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Oil prices rose after a report showed USA refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London.