Stock markets extend losses at open

President Trump promises

The FTSE 100 index tumbled yesterday, shedding 108.12 points to end the session 1.44 percent lower at 7,389.94, pressured by a selloff in homebuilders, which reacted to the latest house data, as well as by the ongoing geopolitical worries.

US President Donald Trump laid on another round of rhetoric against the North Korean plans for an attack on one of the United States' military bases in the Pacific.

There were falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down - taking their cues from sharp losses on Wall Street earlier. "You're less than 2 per cent off the high for the S&P heading into a weekend where uncertainty with North Korea still lingers".

Traders turned towards safe-haven assets such as gold, helping the precious metal touch a two-month high, and the Japanese Yen rose.

Although Japan could be in the front line of any clash with North Korea, the yen is benefitting because Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and Japanese investors tend to repatriate funds in times of stress, attracting other flows. "This provides an excuse key in hand for investors to cash in profits, or at least to contain for the moment their fever buying in a market where many think it was ripe for a downturn", said Patrick O'hare of Briefing.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended over 1% lower to a five-month low with nearly all sectors in negative territory.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content.

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

Markets had seen a tentative recovery in risk appetite in United States and early Asian trading, but as the war of words resumed Asian stocks dropped back and London, Frankfurt and Paris all lost 0.5 to 1.2 per cent.

The market was waiting for U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions.

In bond markets, the yield on U.S. Treasuries fell, also pressured by the lowered expectations for a Fed move. The price rose 1.3 per cent in the previous session, the biggest gain since mid-May.

"On many occasions, we've also heard from the Russians, and from Russian oil producers, that once the deal is complete and free production reigns again that Russia will prime the pump", said Greg McKenna, an analyst at AxiTrader. The spot gold price was up 0.7 per cent at $1,286.07 per ounce by 1400 GMT, after hitting an earlier high of $1,286.40, its highest level since June 8. To Reuters citing Peter Kenny, in charge of the market strategy in Global Markets Advisory Group, " market participants are looking for any reason for a reset of course.

U.S. crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

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