Nuclear nerves wipe $1 trillion off world stocks

Nuclear nerves wipe $1 trillion off world stocks

However, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley suggested on Thursday that the central bank was on track to raise interest rates once more as he expects sluggish inflation to rise over the next several months. "Should we see another dip in inflation in July, it could make the job of building a consensus for another rate hike this year more hard".

"That's a chance and an opportunity to build your position or to get into it", said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota, Florida.

Global markets tumbled Wednesday as the US and North Korea ratcheted up their confrontational rhetoric, with the nuclear-armed North rolling out a plan to launch missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam. The benchmark SET index started the day on a sour note, and the intensified sell-off sent the main bourse to the day's trough of 1,556.22 points before bargain-hunting pared losses.

The FTSE 100 index UKX, -1.04% slumped 0.8% to 7,332.52. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 19 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,377.

Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower.

The headline US CPI release was below consensus forecasts with a 0.1% increase for July compared with an expected 0.2% with the year-on-year rate at 1.7%. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 share index closed down 1.3% at its lowest since June 1 as the strong yen hit exporters, while South Korea's KOSPI index fell 1.1% to seven-week lows.

The yen is perceived as a safe haven because Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and investors there have tended to repatriate funds in times of crisis. The Nasdaq composite gained 32 points, or 0.5%, to 6,249.

Wall St stops stocks' bleeding, for now; gold, yen tick up
On the currency markets, the pound was marginally higher against the USA dollar at 1.30 and up 0.1% versus the euro at 1.11. Wilmar International slipped 6.4 per cent or 22 cents to $3.20; Hongkong Land lost 2.1 per cent or 16 USA cents to US$7.34.

Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month.

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 39.02 points to 15,217.33, with most sectors finishing in the red while bullion stocks surged almost 1.9 per cent.

Markets also awaited USA inflation figures, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is set to signal how fast United States interest rates will rise.

"But now we're seeing increasing rather than diminishing tensions", he said. US gold futures gained 0.50 percent to $1,296.60 an ounce.

Crude futures, meanwhile, extended losses on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over global oversupply.

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