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FTSE 100 plunges as investors worry about USA and North Korea tensions
12 August 2017, 06:32 | Jan Cross
Stock markets slip as North Korea tensions build
Wall Street saw a stock sell-off on Thursday as rising tensions between the USA and North Korea filled investors with worry.
All three United States indices fell sharply, with the broad-based S&P 500 tumbling 1.5 percent.
At the close trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 204.69 points, or 0.9%, to 21,844.01, its biggest one-day fall since May 17.
The FTSE 100 Index closed down 1.4%, or 108.12 points to 7,389.94, with Pyongyang unveiling plans to launch a volley of ballistic missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, an America military hub.
Cracks are showing in what has been a virtually non-stop USA equity rally after a rapid escalation of tension between North Korea and the United States this week.
The sabre-rattling - sparked when President Donald Trump stunned the world with an apocalyptic warning to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea - continued Thursday as Pyongyang mocked the USA leader as "bereft of reason".
The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index, declined 1.4 percent, while energy shares also fell 1.4 percent as oil prices turned down.
Damage control came in the form of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on Thursday, who said: "I think what the president was just reaffirming is that the United States has the capability to fully defend itself from any attack, and our allies, and we will do so".
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"Risk aversion is once again the name of the game.as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens", said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. Macy's sank 10.3 percent and Kohl's lost 5.8 percent.
Earlier on Thursday, North Korea revealed a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward a major US military hub in the Pacific.
USA stocks edged higher in early trading Friday, recouping some of the ground they lost after the market's biggest single-day drop in almost three months. Money also flowed into consumer discretionary stocks.
On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.03% against the dollar at $1.2981 but down 0.23% against the euro at 1.0999 euros. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London.
Nevsun Resources Ltd offset some of the material group's gains, plunging 16.4 percent to C$2.75 after the company reported disappointing quarterly results. Travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 2.7 percent.
To that end, gold prices shot up to near $1,300 an ounce - their highest level in several months.
Asian markets closed in the red: Tokyo's Nikkei fell 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.1 per cent, and China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.4 per cent.
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