FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 70.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to 15,146.38. It is now on track for its biggest weekly drop since the week before the November 8 USA presidential election.

Data showed US 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.

Strong results from Scout24 and Novo Nordisk lifted those shares, but the pan-European STOXX 600 extended early losses to fall 0.7 percent.

Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, said: "While the tough talk about the potential for war (between the USA and North Korea) is scary, investors have heard it many times before".

"Should the North Korea situation develop it may just prove to be the catalyst to push the institutional world to commit flows back to this asset class on a sustained basis", he said.

Macy's shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

Tillerson's tone was in sharp contrast to that of U.S. president Donald Trump, who warned on Tuesday any North Korean threat to the U.S. would be met with "fire and fury".

The rhetoric between the USA and North Korea has continued to heat up, leading traders to look to safe havens such as gold and treasuries.

Trump was responding to North Korea's claim it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Читайте также: Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

In London, the FTSE 100 lost 1.4pc as large caps Anglo American, BT Group, Rio Tinto and Lloyds fell after going ex-dividend. Earlier in the week, Trump said the USA would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.28 percent.

Among economic data, the U.S. Labor Department is likely to report that initial jobless claims remained unchanged at 240,000 for the week ended August 5.

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.

Korea's Kospi dropped 1.7%, cementing a weekly loss of 3.2%.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.19 percent from 2.20 percent late Thursday. The strength in the sector comes as gold for December delivery is jumping USD11.30 to USD1,290.60 an ounce.

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. The tension increased the selling pressure in the market.

Shares gaining ground included insurer Aegon and soft drinks bottler Coca Cola, which rose 5.3pc and 9.2pc respectively after their updates.

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