United States stocks fall again on North Korea tensions

Global stocks fall on Trump's North Korea warning; US$ up after data

US stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with the Dow slipping more than 100 points, as lackluster results from retailers Macy's and Kohl's added to investor nervousness over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The Nasdaq composite lost 13.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,370.46.

The threat followed U.S. President Donald Trump's warning on Tuesday that any threats by Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ticked up 0.2% to 1,416.

USA equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough. Bucking the trend, shares of Travelers and those of Home Depot rose, recently up 1.1 percent and 1 percent respectively, posting the biggest percentage gains in the Dow.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment. Yields on bonds move inversely to their price.

The biggest fallers were Standard Life down 16p to 410.8p, Rio Tinto down 109.5p to 3,370p, Old Mutual down 6.2p to 195.3p, Anglo American down 39p to 1,238.5p.

The North Korea situation isn't the only thing weighing on stocks.

Gold - generally regarded as a safer asset in times of uncertainty - hit its highest price for more than two months on Friday, touching $1,288.92 an ounce before slipping back.

The job openings data "were certainly the latest metric to highlight tightening labor market conditions in the USA and to that extent that's certainly a dollar-positive data", said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

London's FTSE 100 closed about 80 points, or more than 1%, lower on Friday, adding to a slump of more than 100 points the day before.

Analysts said media and entertainment stocks also seemed to get caught up in the broader market drop, but emphasized it was often hard to isolate reasons behind specific stocks' movements.

LOOKING GOOD: Michael Kors climbed 21.9% to $45.40 after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer posted quarterly results that beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents United States, down from an average price of 78.71 cents U.S. on Wednesday.

IN A SKID: Avis Budget Group slumped 6.8% to $31.13 after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent.

The dollar index fell 0.32 percent, with the euro up 0.42 percent to $1.1819.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

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