U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

Tensions between the USA and North Korea continued to simmer early Friday.

Investors welcomed new data showing that US inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

The hope that the Fed will have to slow its rate-hike path appeared to stop, at least for now, the near $1-trillion loss in world stocks valuations this week triggered by the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington. M stock is now down 0.4% to trade at $23.43, asthe company prepares to report earnings tomorrow. Reuters data show a 28-percent chance for a hike after the Fed's December meeting.

Adding to the modest losses posted in the two previous sessions, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday.

An Associated Press report that the USA and North Korea have been engaged in back channel talks (https://apnews.com/686ac7c761694b28b67793a1d8297145?link=mktw) for several months even as they exchange incendiary threats may also help to soothe jitters.

In his latest warning to North Korea, U.S. 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".

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the USA presidential election.

"There's not a great incentive to buy big", said Lerner of SunTrust Advisory.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 204.69 points, or 0.93 percent, at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 35.81 points, or 1.45 percent, to end the session at 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 135.46 points, or 2.13 percent, to 6,216.87.

Wilmar International slipped 6.4 per cent or 22 cents to $3.20; Hongkong Land lost 2.1 per cent or 16 USA cents to US$7.34.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.27 percent. In Asia, several indexes closed lower overnight. On the Nasdaq, 1,378 issues rose and 892 fell.

"Pretty remarkable, perhaps even extraordinary, considering", said Tim Ash, strategist at fund manager BlueBay.

World stock markets slid Wednesday as worries about US-North Korea tensions sent traders fleeing to safe-haven investments.

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 global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts.

The dollar was further weighed Friday by the soft US inflation data.

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"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week. Germany's DAX fared better, trading only 0.2 percent lower at 11,989.

The Japanese yen last strengthened 0.03 percent versus the greenback at 109.22 per dollar.

In contrast to the US market, global equities remained weak.

The 30-year bond was last up 4/32 in price to yield 2.7871 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday.

Gold was up $3 at $1293 an ounce, adding to 2-month highs. Apple (AAPL.O) was down 2.3 percent, weighing most on the index.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

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