Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between United States and North Korea

Stocks slide on continued concern over tension between United States and North Korea

Japan's Topix index had the biggest slide in nearly three months, falling 1.3 per cent on trading volume 22 per cent higher than the 30-day average at the close. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later insisted the USA isn't signalling it's about to mete out a military response despite threats from North Korea suggesting it could attack Guam, a US island territory in the Pacific.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, but the tense mood dragged Asian shares lower and an MSCI index of stocks across the globe posted its largest weekly drop since the week before Donald Trump won the USA presidential election in November. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.90 a pound.

North Korea have since threatened to launch missiles at the US territory of Guam.

"Subdued participation this year and lean positioning suggests that market participants would have to play catch-up on a break higher", she said in a note.

The Nasdaq finished the day at 6,216.87, a slide of 135.46, while the S&P 500 lost almost 1.5 percent, ending the day at 2,438.21. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

Dow e-minis were down 24 points, or 0.11 percent, with 22,166 contracts changing hands. While the German DAX Index has inched up by 0.1%, the UK's FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.9% and 1%, respectively.

Thai shares fell as much as 0.5 per cent, hurt by industrials, while Malaysian shares fell slightly as industrials and consumer discretionary stocks lost ground.

Despite the past week's decline, the major indexes are in positive territory so far this year, led by the Nasdaq, which is up 16.2 percent. A gauge of volatility on the S&P 500, the VIX hit its highest reading for over a month.

"It looks like it was used as a good excuse to adjust positions", he said, referring to the heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

There were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term market volatility, was up as much as 12.63 points, its highest in more than a month. It's still the highest it's been since May. U.S. bond prices also rose while gold closed at its highest for the week up 1.52% to $1281.

The consumer price data, which pointed to weak inflation, could cause the Federal Reserve to hold off from raising rates again this year. It rose $15.70, or 1.2 percent, to $1,277.80 an ounce.

In a note sent to clients late on Thursday, the U.S. bank predicted the single currency would rise to $1.25 in the first quarter of next year and reach parity with sterling for the first time.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman all rose, with the Dow Jones US defense index up 1.48 percent at 409.58. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 26 cents to $52.96.

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