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Markets Right Now: Stocks drop, led by technology companies

12 August 2017

It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro. "If the rest of the world remains supportive, then there's reason in these earnings to be encouraged about the direction of the Japanese market, which has sort of been in a holding pattern for the past two months".

USA gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce.

Traders said hedge funds had cut leveraged bets against the franc, a traditional safe haven, prompted in part by worries about increased US-North Korea tension.

President Trump said North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been "very threatening, beyond a normal state".

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

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

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The Nikkei finished down 8.97 points, or 0.1 percent, at 19,729.74, erasing early morning gains.

Trump's second warning, however, has shaken markets that have been largely resilient this year, swatting away a slew of risks. It is now on track for its biggest weekly drop since the week before the November 8 USA presidential election. The index closed at 16.04 overnight, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37 points, or 0.17%, to end at 22,049, the S&P 500 lost one point, or 0.04%, to 2,474 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 18 points, or 0.28%, to 6,352.

USA stock futures were pointing to a weaker open on Wednesday.

Trump's top security adviser H.R. McMaster earlier told MSNBC that the preparing for a "preventive war" with North Korea among other options on the table to deal with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threats.

Against the dollar the euro was 0.16pc lower.

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"Given the speculative flows positioning for possible yen repatriation, we could see the psychologically significant 109.00 level give way", Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at OANDA, wrote in a note. The Nasdaq composite fell 35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,336. They were at 2.201 percent on Friday. The Dow is now 0.9% off its closing record, while the S&P 500 is 1.3% off and the Nasdaq is 2.7% off their respective closing records.

The Korean won also continued to skid, down 0.45 per cent to 1,147.2, falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a month.

Separately, U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products. Consumer-focused companies and banks were among the biggest decliners.

Gold was up for the third day, hitting an intra-day high of $1,280.38 an ounce that was last recorded mid-June.

Missile makers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have outperformed Wall Street by nearly four per cent in recent days and the Dow Jones US defence index is at a record high and on a seven-day unbroken run of gains.

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