United States stocks close lower, snapping Dow's 10-day winning streak

United States stocks close lower, snapping Dow's 10-day winning streak

United States stocks close lower, snapping Dow's 10-day winning streak

The Nikkei slumped to its lowest close for nearly three months Wednesday, leading an Asia-wide sell-off sparked by President Donald Trump's apocalyptic warning over North Korea's weapons programme.

Markets saw a tentative recovery in risk appetite in overnight US and early Asian trading, but anxiety mounted again as Asian stocks fell back and London, Frankfurt and Paris dropped 0.5-1.2 percent in Europe. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 4.02 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,410.15.

Currency traders consolidated positions in the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, and pushed up the dollar index by unwinding some of the recent bets on the euro.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement on Wednesday it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large U.S. military base. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.9 percent to 21,844.01.

The dollar slipped to as low as 109.11 yen in early Asian trade on Friday, its lowest level since June 14, when the greenback had fallen to as low as 108.81 yen.

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Tokyo has deployed Aegis ships in the Sea of Japan, and is on alert 24 hours sharing information with the United States. He added that he hopes North Korean leader will " find another path ." .

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. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

Switzerland's franc on Wednesday posted its biggest single-day rise against the euro since the central bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015.

Oil prices edged higher after a report showed US refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited gains.

With Asian bourses and USA stock futures weakening early on Wednesday, the safe-haven 10-year Treasury yield was last down 3 basis points. It has weakened 1.5 percent since hitting a 2-1/2 year high of 1.1910 on August 2.

ANALYST TAKE: "Equities look set to end this week on a downer, as geopolitical uncertainty regarding North Korea shakes volatility from its 2017 slumber", said Mike van Dulken, head of Research at Accendo Markets. Brent, the global benchmark, was last down 25 cents a barrel at $51.89.

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The Australian dollar, which rose to a 19-month high near 90.00 yen late in July, was down 0.6 percent at 86.77 yen after slipping to a one-month low of 86.23 yen.

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 added 0.2% to 7,799.64, led higher by local cargo giant Mainfreight, which was 1.8% firmer.

Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second-quarter results late Wednesday, rallied 10.7 percent to C$22.47.

The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 135.46 points, or 2.1%, to close at 6,216.87.

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