Asian markets wobble after Trump warning

Asian markets wobble after Trump warning

U.S. equities dipped the most in May as tensions between the USA and North Korea persisted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 94.55 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 21,954.15, the S&P 500 lost 19.51 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 2,454.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 76.39 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 6,275.94.

"I do think I expect inflation to also start to move higher in the medium term but probably not get all the way back to 2-percent on a year-over-year basis, because, remember, we've had these very weak inflation readings for a number of month", Dudley said. The Nasdaq index declined over 2% on the day with the S&P 500 index retreating around 1.5%.

Entering Friday's session, the Dow was on track to post its worst weekly performance since March 24, while the S&P 500 stared at its biggest weekly loss since the week before the US election.

Gold prices rose while the yen hit an eight-week high against the dollar and made broad gains against other peers, reacting to the political tensions stemming from the Korean Peninsula.

The sabre-rattling - sparked when President Donald Trump stunned the world with an apocalyptic warning to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea - continued Thursday as Pyongyang mocked the United States leader as "bereft of reason". "Although it is considered highly unlikely that this tension will escalate into a nuclear war, the market still needs to see how President Trump will eventually deal with his advocating "fire and fury" against North Korea's threat", said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

The dollar came under immediate pressure and gold moved to fresh 2-month highs just above $1,290 per ounce. "They may increase the market's volatility for a couple of days".

The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index slipped 0.9 per cent. North Korea said that it was considering Guam as a target to fire missiles.

In Australia mining stocks also benefitted from the strength of gold. Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,238.53.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index fell 1.1%, and the Nikkei in Tokyo sank 1.3%. Randgold Resources Ltd. and Barrick Gold Corp. were among the best performers, each gaining more than 1.4 percent.

But the S&P Bank sub-sector fell 0.7 percent on dimming prospects of another rate hike this year since higher rates tend to boost bank profits.

Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second-quarter results late Wednesday, rallied 10.7 per cent to C$22.47. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.

The euro held steady at $1.1776.

The Japanese yen last strengthened 0.03 per cent versus the greenback at 109.22 per dollar.

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