North Korea threats; China aluminum; Disney ditches Netflix

North Korea threats; China aluminum; Disney ditches Netflix

North Korea threats; China aluminum; Disney ditches Netflix

South Korean marines fired a Spike surface-to-surface missile and more than 200 artillery rounds from K9 self-propelled howitzers, staging a "routine" exercise near the tense western border with North Korea. India's Sensex shed 0.5 percent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined. "Geopolitical risks don't really influence Korean markets", he said. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

Safe-haven demand rose after North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, where a US military base is located, shrugging off President Donald Trump's earlier warning that further threats to the United States will be met with "fire and fury".

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent.

Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros says officials there are confident "the U.S. Department of Defense is monitoring this situation very closely and is maintaining a condition of readiness".

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses and some US officials sought to dial back tensions. It is still the best performing G10 currency so far this year with gains of more than 11 percent against the dollar.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.20 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.33. Spot gold was 0.1 percent lower at $1,276.78 an ounce after having spiked the previous day to a near two-month peak of $1,278.66.

Shares of Macy's tumbled 10.2 percent and Kohl's was down 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnaround may still be a long way off.

The single currency slipped 0.3 percent to $1.1723 and was holding just above a July 28 low of $1.1688.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were headed lower.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 39 cents to settle at $49.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. US gold futures gained 1.50 percent to $1,281.50 an ounce. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent.

Related news