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emfizz.com August 17, 2017


London close: Geopolitical tensions and ex-div stocks weigh on FTSE

12 August 2017, 06:03 | Patty Hardy

Asian stocks fall amid escalating US, North Korea tension

People walk past an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo

In his latest warning to North Korea, US President Donald Trump said on Friday military solutions were "fully in place" and referred to American weapons as being "locked and loaded" should the nuclear-armed nation act "unwisely".

July's 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month. Should losses extend after markets open, it will mark Wall Street's fourth day in a row and the Dow's retreat from a record-making stretch at the beginning of the week that extended nine days.

In a note sent to clients late on Thursday, the US bank predicted the single currency would rise to $1.25 in the first quarter of next year and reach parity with sterling for the first time.

THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

NORTH KOREA: President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" this week in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific with a military base.

On average, the S&P 500 falls 5% or more every 10 weeks and the index falls 10% every 33 weeks, according to data analyzed by AllianceBernstein going back to 1928.

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 per cent on Friday to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week were a relatively modest 3.2 per cent.

Nervous markets: Global markets are heading for a third consecutive day of losses amid growing tensions between North Korea and the U.S.

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In European markets, the French CAC 40 was down 0.7% and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.2%.

The Japanese currency is often a safe have asset too.

The latest US CPI data will also be an important market focus on Friday and there will be a constant threat of choppy trading conditions given a lack of liquidity.

Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month.

Below that level lies another key technical chart support level for the dollar at 108.13 yen, a trough the USA currency k plumbed in mid-April. Financials .SPSY fell the most, down about 1 percent.

After touching a more than two-month high at US$1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 per cent to US$1,288.81 an ounce.

The Korean story has seen the yen gain around 1.5 percent this week, its biggest rise since mid-May.

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.

Oil prices rose nearly half a percent in today's trading following a bigger-than-expected drop in United States crude inventories.



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