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13 August 2017, 04:53 | Austin Hogan
Michael Kors store in Edinburgh Source
A Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday that China should make clear that it will stay neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, but that if the us attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea's government, China will prevent it doing so.
The broader All Ordinaries index was down 67.1 points, or 1.15 per cent, at 5,743.5 points.
While the data gave investors appetite for growth sectors such as information technology and biotechnology it soured them to rate-sensitive stocks such as banks, said Keith Lerner, Chief Market Strategist, SunTrust Advisory services in Atlanta.
Some market participants say the paring of bearish bets against the Japanese yen has probably added to its gains this week.
European bourses also looked set to open lower across the board, with Eurostoxx 50 futures already down 0.7 percent in early trade.
Simmering tensions between the USA and North Korea were also weighing on the market. The Nasdaq composite lost 76 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275.
The big four banks were all lower led by ANZ which was down 1.91 per cent at $29.26. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.
In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 1.6 percent to 5,135 while Germany's DAX was down 1.3 percent at 12,133. Macy's was down 4.4 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter.
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Gold-related stocks were well-supported with Newcrest Mining up 2.1 per cent at $21.85 and Evolution Mining up 2.2 per cent to $2.34. Crude oil prices extended their slide as exports from key OPEC producers rose, despite news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 28 cents to $49.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In commodities, U.S. crude fell 0.67% to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.58, down 0.23% on the day. Wholesale gasoline dropped 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon, while heating oil shed 2 cents to $1.63 a gallon.
Spot gold added 0.4 percent to $1,265.22 an ounce, pulling away from the previous session's two-week lows.
Disappointing economic data releases weighed on both sides of the Atlantic today with a negative goods trade balance for the United Kingdom (-0.1% versus expectations of 1.4%), higher unemployment claims from the USA (244,000) and also a negative month-on-month PPI figure for the U.S. (-0.1%).
REA Group shares fell $4.07 cents, or almost six per cent, to $64.35 after its full-year net profit slipped 19 per cent to $206.3 million.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down less than 0.1 percent to finish at 19,729.74.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.48 yen from 109.85 late Wednesday. The euro was at $1.1742-1743, down from $1.1807-1808, and at ¥128.96-98, down from ¥130.57-57. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1741 compared to yesterday's $1.1752. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.7 percent.
Global markets jarred by North Korea fears
CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index , which looks at the VIX and six other gauges of market sentiment, tipped toward Fear. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face " fire and fury " if it threatened the United States .
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