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12 August 2017, 10:53 | Austin Hogan
European Shares Plummet
The FTSE 100 index closed at a three-month low last night as concern about geopolitical tension continued to put world stock markets under pressure.
Sentiment is expected to remain downbeat in today's trading, amid the ongoing summer lull and after the Dow posted its worst drop since May after President Donald Trump doubled down on his remarks from earlier this week that North Korea would face "fire and fury".
On Thursday, the Dow Jones index dropped 0.9 percent, or 204,69 points, to 21 844,01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent.
"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.
The dollar set an eight-week low against the yen on Friday as escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea triggered yet more investor flight to safety.
The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.67 cents USA, down 0.04 of a US cent.
The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings. The index bounced off its lowest closing level in six months.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended over 1% lower to a five-month low with nearly all sectors in negative territory. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.13%.
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One of the few pieces of news in the markets right now is the US CPI data, which may show that inflation in the country has fallen, reducing the need for any forthcoming Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
Markets had seen a tentative recovery in risk appetite in USA 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.
Market participants are also nervous about escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea.
"We're still close to the all-time high so that makes people a little nervous too, so they might say now might be the time to take a little bit of money off the table".
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.19 percent from 2.20 percent late Thursday.
The market's main backstop in times of strain, gold, hit a two-month high of $1,282 an ounce amid the nervousness.
Unlike the tense stand-off on the Korean peninsula, Australian investors took a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to heightened global anxieties, wiping around $20 billion off the market.
In commodities, US. crude fell 0.67 per cent to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.58, down 0.23 per cent on the day.
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In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 dropped nearly 0.7 per cent to 5,081.92 points compared with the closing level on Thursday. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.
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