Worldwide

Shares hit by US-North Korea tensions

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a auto hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%. The blue-chip index closed down 1.4%, or 108.12 points, at 7,389.94 on Thursday.

Officials in North Korea said they were "carefully examining" a strike on Guam, which is home to around 163,000 people and two US military installations and threatened a further "all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the USA mainland" in a government statement.

His order, reported in state media, came hours after U.S. President Donald Trump late Tuesday warned Pyongyang not to "make any more threats" to the U.S, saying it would face a "fire and fury" response (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-today-president-says-north-korea-faces-fire-and-fury-if-it-doesnt-halt-threats-2017-08-08) "like the world has never seen".

'Escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea seriously spooked the European indices after the bell. They are expected to cut North Korea's export revenues by one third.

As a result, the volatility index reached a nine-month high, though it was close to record lows earlier this week, before the tensions sparked.

Gold prices also rose on safe-haven demand while oil portrayed a mixed trend after the release of API inventory data.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.9 per cent to 7,323.45 points. In China, the Shanghai Composite is down 1.4%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is down 2.0%.

Korea's Kospi stock benchmark lost 1.1% as geopolitical concerns grew, clipping its year-to-date gain to 16.9%.

Traders reacted with dismay to his fresh warning Thursday that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on the reclusive nuclear-armed state may not have been "tough enough". This was much slower than the 19.1% increase seen in June.

During January to July, fiscal expenditure advanced 14.5% from the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sterling slipped below $1.30, close to a two-and-a-half-week low but it strengthened against the euro by 0.2%, following Tuesday's 10-month low. Operating profits were 5% higher to £2.4bn (consensus: £2.02bn) on an IFRS basis and at constant exchange rates but 15% ahead at current exchange rates.

Meanwhile, Domino's Pizza Group said it has formed a partnership with its largest franchisee in London, paying GBP24.0 million to take a 75% stake in a newly-formed company which will consist of all the franchisee's operations in the capital, a total of 25 existing stores. In the U.S., the consumer price index and the Baker Hughes oil rig count are at 1330 BST and 1800 BST, respectively.



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