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Investors seek safe bets as Wall Street closes lower

10 August, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • U.S. Navy  Handout  Reuters

United States markets closed lower on Tuesday's trade after President Donald Trump warned North Korea, saying that threats will be "met with fire and fury".

In the political sphere, investors will be keeping a close eye on the rising tensions between North Korea and the USA on Wednesday.

The Dow lost 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,085. The Nasdaq composite lost 18 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.

All three major stock indexes dropped 0.2 per cent at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing at 22,085.34, halting a almost two-week run of closing records. The Dow snapped a nine-day streak of closing records.

Safe-haven assets gained. Gold rose 1.2 percent, while the Swiss franc was on track to post its biggest single day rise in about two-and-a-half years.

Analysts said media and entertainment stocks also seemed to get caught up in the broader market drop, but emphasized it was often hard to isolate reasons behind specific stocks' movements.

Ten out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell after the comments with the only gains seen in the utilities sector.

Travel website operator Priceline fell 6.54 percent, while travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 7.51 percent after both the companies issued disappointing forecasts.

Mounting tensions lifted US defense stocks.

Oil prices gained 32 cents to $49.49 USA per barrel.

USA equivalents fell 4 bps to 2.24 percent. Net income fell to US$3 million from US$36 million in the year-ago quarter. September-dated crude futures settled up 0.8%, or 39 cents, at $49.56 per barrel.

European equity markets also opened sharply lower and measures of volatility spiked.

Martin van Vliet, a senior rates strategist at ING, said the market move in German bonds was exacerbated by speculative bets on futures derivative contracts, rather than actual trading in the underlying assets.

European shares were also lower following reports that a vehicle had rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six before speeding off in what officials identified as a suspected terrorist attack.

Chemicals group Brenntag led fallers, down 5.5 percent after second quarter results undershot expectations.

Wider Asian markets down: Japan's Nikkei stock index closed down 1.33%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng index is down 0.35%, and China's Shanghai Composite is down 0.28%.



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