S&P falls 1.4 pct in safety flight on N. Korea tensions

Reuters

Reuters

USA stock indexes opened higher for the first time in four days on Friday after tepid data pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising rates again this year, even as concerns lingered over rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. The 10-year German bund yield traded at 0.43 percent while the 10-year US yield declined to 2.243 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 1.01 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.26 percent for a weekly loss of 1.6 percent, the largest since the week to November 4.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday but the yen powered on, hitting an eight-week high of 108.91 yen to the dollar, adding to its biggest weekly gain since May.

In response to Trump's threat, a report on state-run media in North Korea said it would "turn the U.S. mainland into the theater of a nuclear war" if it looked like America was going to attack.

With the rhetoric rumbling on, Europe's top-rated German bond yield held near six-week lows.

Wall Street stocks posted their biggest declines in almost three months late Thursday as US President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea over its nuclear program. Weakness in U.S. Treasury yields may also be supporting the yen.

Weaker-than-expected July consumer price data led investors to bet that benign inflation would keep the US Federal Reserve from raising rates again this year.

The market was also waiting for data that would offer clues about the extent to which the strengthening USA labour market is spilling over into inflation.

In contrast to the USA market, global equities remained weak. The Nasdaq added 39.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,256.56. The yen appreciated against the USA dollar.

Stock movers:Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares earlier rose after the retailer posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10) but the stock is trading mostly flat. Wanda Hotel Development shares rose 19.8% after the unit of China conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said it would buy assets worth more than 7 billion yuan ($1.05 billion) as part of a restructuring.

Crude oil prices tumbled on the back of the selloff on Wall Street and lingering concerns over global oversupply.

Both the Swiss franc and the yen have climbed against the dollar this week, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States. North Korea responded with threats to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a USA territory.

Guam which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea, is home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and a Coast Guard group, and an air base.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

The utilities index, often seen as a bond proxy because of its companies' slow reliable growth and high dividends, was the only S&P sector that ended the day up, showing a 0.25 percent gain.

Spot gold had eased 0.1 percent to $1,276.40 per ounce at 0322 GMT. Four that are controlled by Dhanin and his family - Charoen Pokphand Foods, CP All, Siam Makro and True Corp. - are ranked by analysts in the region's top 20 in terms of return potential over the next 12 months.

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