Equities fall on rising tension between US & North Korea

USA stock indexes opened higher for the first time in four days on Friday after tepid data pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising rates again this year, even as concerns lingered over rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

"There's not a fundamental reason why what we're seeing out of North Korea right now should affect stock market prices, but it's being used as the reason to sell off right now because we've been looking for it for so long", Schiegoleit said.

Global markets have lost almost US$1 trillion since U.S. president Donald Trump said on Tuesday that North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" and then dialed up his warning further on Thursday by saying he wasn't tough enough this week.

The technology sector was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop.

Technology companies were leading a broad slide in USA stocks in early trading Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, as investors pored over the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. The move added to escalating U.S.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

J.C. Penney slumped 24.4 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.

The VIX, a measure of Wall Street volatility, spiked more than 30% Thursday. Advanced Micro Devices gave up 38 cents, or 3 per cent, to $12.45.

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

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Korea's Samsung Electronics fell 2.8% Friday and was down 6.1% on the week.

The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 4 cents to $49.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that U.S. President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day.

South Korea's won currency dropped 0.9 per cent against the dollar to its lowest close since July 13. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.22 per cent from 2.25 per cent late Wednesday.

U.K.'s FTSE 100, the German DAX and the French CAC 40 all dropped more than 2.3% this week.

When Japanese traders get back to their desks Monday, stocks will need to catch up with Friday's regional weakness and the yen's recent gains against the dollar, up 1.5% on the week.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index fell 1%.

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