March 21 2018

Investors move to safe havens as U.S. and North Korea trade threats

March 21 2018, 10:19 | Clarence Walton

Investors move to safe havens as U.S. and North Korea trade threats

Investors move to safe havens as U.S. and North Korea trade threats

Mr Song noted: "The perception is that war is a low probability, but it's still a high-risk event". The NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.28% and closed the day at 6,352.33. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.2 percent to 2474.92 points, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2 percent to 6370.46 points.

The euro edged 0.3 percent lower to 1.1726 against the dollar.

North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat that further heightened tensions with the United States.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea revealed a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward a major USA military hub in the Pacific. The country previously threatened a further "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the USA mainland" in a government statement.

"For quite some time the market hasn't really reacted to things on the Korean Peninsula because we know from the past it is largely North Korean sabre-rattling, and it may yet be".

In morning trade, the FTSE 100 fell 87.67 points, or 1.2%, to 7,302.27, having dropped 1.4% on Thursday.

"Although we certainly can get a five to seven percent correction, we don't think it's the start of a significant bear market".

Weakness in the Consumer Discretionary and Utilities sectors weighed on the market. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33.

TIME OUT: Fossil tumbled 23.7 percent after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates. The stock shed $1.50 to $4.61.

USA producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.20 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 39 cents to $49.56 United States per barrel, September natural gas advanced six cents at $2.88 U.S. per mmBTU and September copper declined two cents at $2.93 USA a pound. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel overnight. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 21 cents to $52.91.

The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the US dollar, while spot gold also reached a two-month high.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were headed lower.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,466 as of 2:45 p.m.

Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 was marginally lower at $51.88, after Thursday's 1.5 percent drop.

In corporate news out of Tokyo, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group lost 1.27% and Yahoo Japan was off 0.2%, after the pair announced a joint venture to improve services through better processing of the bank's customer data.

Other news