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13 August 2017, 11:12 | Terri Saunders
By Kimberly Chin
Travel and media companies led US stocks lower in afternoon trading Wednesday as some rare earnings disappointments weighed on the market.
European stocks were shoved lower Friday, heading for their worst weekly loss in nine months, as the war of words between the USA and North Korea prompted investors to back away from assets perceived as risky.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 16.88 points, or 0.26 percent, at 6,353.58.
Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.
And US stock indices the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are down for the second day in a row after the North Korean dictator threatened a missile strike on US bases in Guam.
The technology sector was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 percent drop.
Singapore banks led the decline, with DBS Group shedding 2.2 per cent or 46 cents to $20.80; OCBC Bank fell 12 cents or 1.1 per cent to $11.20; United Overseas Bank Group lost 1.3 per cent or 33 cents to $24.20. It soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and is set for a weekly gain of 2.25 percent.
Six of the S&P 500 sectors ended higher.
The Labor Department is also expected to issue its Producer Price Index (PPI), which is likely to have remained unchanged at 0.1 percent in July.
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The S&P/TSX composite index was down 91.01 points to 15,126.32, after 90 minutes of trading.
The news was also greeted with dismay by traders in Asia, with Tokyo down 1.3 percent, Hong Kong losing 0.4 percent and Seoul registering a 1.1-percent decline. "That reset is being triggered by North Korea geopolitical concern and stretched valuations", said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, New York.
Data showed USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.
About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on USA stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions.
The market's backstop safety asset, gold, edged up to its latest two-month high of $1,288 an ounce.
Canadian Tire Corp Ltd rose 3.4 percent to C$146.65. Copper rose 1 cent to $2.91 a pound.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a auto hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752.
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