North Korea Tensions Hit Global Stock Markets

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The escalating threat from North Korea and President Donald Trump's increasingly aggressive response kept global markets in fear this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,962.

Declines in US stocks accelerated Thursday, a pullback that many investors and analysts said was overdue with indexes at highs and volatility at record lows.

The FTSE 100 Index closed down 79.98 points to 7,309.96, with President Donald Trump tweeting that the USA military is "locked and loaded" as he warned North Korea over its continuing threats.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite underperformed its peers, falling 135.46 points, or 2.1%, to 6216.87.

"While not necessary unexpected - as the USA had to respond to threats made by North Korea that they will fire rockets due to land just off the coast of Guam soon - new comments by Trump propelled stocks lower".

On Thursday, North Korea's military said it is considering a plan to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles around the US Pacific territory of Guam to "interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the US".

Benchmark 10-year U.S. note yield hitting its lowest level since June 28 and gold futures surging more than 1%.

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Traders saw the chance of a rate hike in December fall to 40 percent from 42 percent shortly before the release of the data, according to Federal funds futures.

More than 430 stocks from all US exchanges hit their lowest levels in 52 weeks or more on Thursday, the most for any session since mid-November right after Trump was elected. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ticked up 0.2% to 1,416.

Retailers Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS), and Gap (GPS) are also among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week. The stock lost $4.15 to $102.83. And certainly, many believe confidence is too high: On a cyclically adjusted price-earnings basis, USA equity valuations have already exceeded the highs seen before the 1929 crash.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.71 cents United States, down 0.20 of a USA cent. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped by 2.3 basis points to 2.189%.

The decline was broad, with all the 11 major S&P indexes lower. Sony Corp. shares in Tokyo dropped 1.6 percent.

Ralph Lauren Corp. shares gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub Corp. added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 28 cents to $52.09 a barrel in London.

South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 per cent to 2,319.83 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.8 per cent to 26,946.81. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 per cent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.96 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

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