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European stocks slide amid US-North Korea tensions

16 August 2017

MSCI's world equity index was up 0.75 percent after its biggest weekly drop since early November and the USA benchmark S&P 500 climbed 1.01 percent, on track for its third one percent daily gain in 2017. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1%.

USA stocks opened flat on Tuesday after North Korea's leader delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam, pointing to receding tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Thursday's selling in the US extended to global markets Friday.

-North Korea nuclear standoff drove them to the biggest weekly losses of 2017, while the dollar too rose off four-month lows it had hit against the yen.

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USA stocks recovered temporarily late on Wednesday as investors appeared to brush off the geopolitical concerns following encouraging comments from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

"Having said that, the latest comments by the USA defence secretary has upped the ante somewhat by saying if North Korea fires a missile at United States, it would mean a war".

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was 0.1 percent higher in afternoon trade, with Australia up 0.5 per cent.

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".

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"European indices are following their Asian counterparts lower once more today, as the risk aversion seen over the past two days continues apace", said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony in a note.

Tokyo shares failed to partake in the region's gains however, slipping 1 percent to three-month lows.N225 even after data showing robust 1.1 percent second quarter growth in Japan, the sixth straight quarter of expansion. This followed a mind-boggling rally that saw some of the major indices post double-digit winnings streaks of more than 10 sessions.

Bond prices slipped only by a small amount and gold finished a little lower, while silver prices rose. Those concerns had helped wipe out almost $1 trillion from global equity markets last week. The price rose 1.3pc in the previous session, the biggest gain since mid-May.

The dollar was up 0.5 percent against the Japanese yen, reversing some of its 1.37 percent loss last week against the safe-haven currency. The Treasury yield us 10-year fell to 2,201 % vs. 2,248 % Wednesday night and one of the warrants to 30 years 2,778 %, compared with 2,824 %.

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On the currency front, the United States dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday.

European stocks slide amid US-North Korea tensions