Tech companies lead broad slide in USA stocks; oil rises

S&P 500 Index

European markets also slid in early trade after Wall Street indices suffered their biggest losses in almost three months Thursday, while the dollar struggled to recover from eight-week lows below 109 yen as investors fled to safe haven assets.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.6 percent in its third session of declines, heading for a 1.5 percent drop for the week. The Nasdaq composite lost 39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,331. North Korea said today it plans to fire four missiles near the United States territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, branding President Trump's warning that North Korean threats will be met with "fire and fury" as "a load of nonsense".

"We saw a tentative recovery in risk appetite yesterday from the sell-off inspired by North Korea but I think justifiably that move is fading a little bit today", said Saxo Bank's head of FX strategy John Hardy.

"The market is trying to interpret the CPI data as somewhat positive because it is anticipating that the Fed will be on hold not only in September but also possibly in December", said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

"While we're used to hearing from Pyongyang what they intend to do, what makes it different this time is (Trump's) very sharp response. which is making everyone a lot more nervous", Mr Song said. MetLife fell 75 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $47.56, while Charles Schwab slid 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.33.

Disappointing company earnings also helped pull the market lower, with financial and consumer-focused companies outweighing gains among health care stocks. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent. "Hard to assess political risk is now intruding on this scenario". That's the index's lowest level in two months.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

"On many occasions, we've also heard from the Russians, and from Russian oil producers, that once the deal is complete and free production reigns again that Russia will prime the pump", said Greg McKenna, an analyst at AxiTrader.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

The dollar eased slightly against a basket of major currencies .DXY to 93.356.

Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two months, while the Swiss franc increased by more than 1% against the United States dollar and saw its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years.

METALS: Gold added $10.80, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1,290.10 an ounce.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $49.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. They plunged 2 percent on Thursday on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over a global oversupply.

Blue Apron shares slumped 11.06 percent after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a bigger-than-expected loss in its first quarterly report as a public company.

It is "a bullish sign that the equity markets are rebounding somewhat on a Friday, in spite of the fact that investors will need to wait for two days to react to any geopolitical news that comes out over the weekend", said Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas.

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