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Trump outbursts wipe $1 trillion off markets

13 August 2017

The damage inflicted on world stocks this week by the escalating war of words over North Korea topped $1 trillion on Friday, as investors again took cover in the yen, the Swiss franc, gold and government bonds.

Only utilities-sector stocks eked out a gain, on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

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

Singapore's DBS bank added in a statement that the yen "remains the safe haven currency from the sabre-rattling between US President Donald Trump and North Korea".

The dollar last changed hands at 108.96 yen, down 0.2 percent. It is trading at its best level in two months, and is threatening to crack the $1,300 level for the first time since the day following the U.S. presidential election.

Dollar hits 8-week low vs yen on intensifying N.Korea tensions
The Swiss currency was also on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since last year's Brexit vote. The dollar index was modestly up during Asian trading to last trade at 93.48, linked to the weaker euro.

The escalation provided an excuse for a selloff many investors consider overdue, some investors and analysts said.

Stocks ended more than one percent down in Seoul while the won slumped to a three-week low against the dollar as the United States president and South Korea's volatile neighbour dramatically ramped up their war of words.

U.S. Treasury long-dated yields dropped to six-week lows, pressured by U.S. Major U.S. indices had posted record highs in recent weeks. It slipped Friday but was up more than 50% for the week.

Outside of geopolitical concerns, disappointing company earnings and outlooks put traders in a selling mood. These mark a bucking against the 1.3% fall in Australia's benchmark index. On Thursday, fellow newly public company Blue Apron Holdings lost 18% after the meal-kit maker reported rising costs amid increased competition.

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

Matsuyama knocks on the major door
It is the first time a player on the PGA Tour has recorded back-to-back eagles since Marc Leishman last November. Recent hard work tweaking his swing is paying off. "Kind of stinks because it sets me back there", Spieth said.

Priceline Group slid 6.9 percent after the online travel booking service issued a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting. The market was waiting f or US consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions. Odds of a Fed rate rise during the December meeting now stand at around 40% according to the CME Group's 30-day Fed Fund futures prices.

OPEC pumped more oil in July as global oil supplies rose for the third straight month, the IEA said Friday, giving figures that cast further doubt on the cartel's pledge to cut output to raise prices.

Aside from geopolitical concerns, gold-focused investors are awaiting USA inflation data set to be released on Friday (August 8).

Despite the past week's decline, the major indexes are in positive territory so far this year, led by the Nasdaq, which is up 16.2 percent.

USA destroyer in South China Sea violated law, harmed security
Ma said that while China will continue its military activities, those "in the Sea of Japan are still not that many". This loss of confidence clearly erodes USA soft power and weakens ASEAN's bargaining position vis-a-vis China.