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FTSE 100 plunges as investors worry about United States and North Korea tensions

13 August 2017

Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled US stocks broadly lower Tuesday, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported disappointing second-quarter results.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

On Friday, the president appeared to double down on his earlier threat to release "fire and fury" on North Korea, warning on his Twitter account that military solutions are in place and "locked and loaded".

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The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX , the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, ended at a session low of 11.11 after rising as high as 12.63. The plunged -204 points or -0.83% to close at 21,865.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. Perrigo rose $1.62, or 2.1 percent, to $78.46.

Ralph Lauren gained $10.38, or 13.3 percent, to $88.53, while peer-to-peer loan company LendingClub added 99 cents, or 18.1 percent, to $6.45.

More news: Dow slips 100 points as tensions with N.Korea escalate (KSS, M)

"With the North Korean authorities taking the heat off the nuclear threats, we expect the market pressure to cool off, as long as the US President also manages to read "truce" between the lines". Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

To that end, gold prices shot up to near $1,300 an ounce - their highest level in several months. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet. The euro fell to $1.1797 from $1.1774. Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5 percent.

Pension funds that holds billions of pounds worth of retirement savings are typically invested in the FTSE 100, meaning savers could see values fall amid sell-offs. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. The index dropped to a one-month closing low. Discovery Communications fell 94 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $23.36.

More news: Keith Ellison Says Kim Jong Un 'Acting More Responsible' Than Trump

Shares of Snap were off about 15 percent premarket following the social media company's earnings that came below estimates and a slew of price target cuts. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

FTSE 100 plunges as investors worry about United States and North Korea tensions