FTSE 100 falls as N Korea tensions weigh on shares

FTSE 100 falls as N Korea tensions weigh on shares

Equities slid, while US Treasuries and gold climbed, as US President Donald Trump's latest comments further inflamed tension with North Korea.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 209,543 contracts traded.

There had earlier been falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks. Financials .SPSY fell the most, down about 1 percent.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent.

Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares rose 1.6% after the retailer late Thursday posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10), along with a sales rise.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

"While it appears that Pyongyang's detailed strike plan against Guam has created a sour backdrop to trading, it's worth noting that US/North Korea tensions aren't having quite the same effect on the DAX and CAC", said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

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"Gold, of course, is already a core asset class for central banks, the super-rich and what are classified as 'the global poor.' Should the North Korea situation develop it may just prove to be the catalyst to push the institutional world to commit flows back to this asset class on a sustained basis". Its weekly gain of 2.6 percent is the largest since June 2016.

Gold prices turned higher after unease over North Korea, reversing the downward move after the jobs data lifted the dollar.

HIGH ON TECH: Gains among chipmakers and digital storage companies helped lift technology-sector stocks. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $8.02 to $45.25.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.

The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last fell 6/32 in price to yield 2.8451 percent, from 2.837 percent late on Monday. The September copper contract was down two cents to $2.91 a pound.

The dollar index fell 0.32 percent, with the euro up 0.42 percent to $1.1819.

Economists polled by MarketWatch are forecasting a 0.2% monthly rise for both measures, after flat reading the prior month.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

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