Equities fall on rising tension between US & North Korea


Stocks saw some strength during trading on Friday, regaining ground following the sell-off seen in the previous session. Selling pressure was somewhat subdued, however, limiting the downside for the major averages.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent.

U.S. markets ended lower on Wednesday amid rising tensions between United States and North Korea.

The tensions, since Trump made his "fire and fury" comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

North Korea claimed "only absolute force" can work on someone as "bereft of reason" as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the US Pacific territory of Guam. "For now, the North Korea situation bears watching, as there's lots of tough talk, but we'll see if it escalates", said Mr Kinahan.

A notable decline by Disney (DIS) weighed on the Dow, with the entertainment giant slumping by 3.9% on the day.

Blue Apron shares hit a record low at $5.03 after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

On the USA economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing labor productivity increased by slightly more than expected in the second quarter.

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Calendar second-quarter earnings have been mostly better than expected, with growth surpassing initial expectations and most S&P 500 companies topping profit and sales estimates. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.7%.

Extending a recent downtrend, oil service stocks moved significantly lower over the course of the session.

Federal funds futures suggested the chance of rate hike in December fell to 40 percent from 42 percent shortly before the release of the data.

Computer hardware, semiconductor, and retail stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, while gold stocks are among the few groups bucking the downtrend. That's the index's lowest level in two months. The stock lost $142.20 to $1,906.80.

Uncertainty over North Korea also reverberated in the foreign exchange market, where safe-haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc rallied.

Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.

All sectors are trading in the red, with tech (-0.6%), financials (-0.6%) and consumer discretionary (-0.5%) leading the retreat. Early Friday, the ICE Dollar Index was up just 0.04% to 93.437. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday.

U.S. producer prices Thursday disappointed, as traders await consumer price inflation figures later Friday.