As North Korean tensions simmer, here's how stocks reacted to past crises

Source Capital Economics

On Thursday, the three major indexes logged their worst performances since mid-May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-up-for-another-day-of-losses-as-north-korean-tensions-simmer-2017-08-10) in a session dogged by escalating tension between the us and North Korea.

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".

North Korea on Thursday detailed plans for a missile strike near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43 points, or 0.2%, to 21,885, led by Apple Inc.

The limited fall in the price of Asian stocks suggests that stockholders are not unduly alarmed, experts said.

Computer hardware stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 1.5 percent.

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Despite the ongoing turmoil, investors' focus was slowly returning to the United States economy after Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans said Wednesday it would be "reasonable" to announce the beginning of a reduction of the Fed's balance sheet next month.

On the currency markets, the pound was down to a three-week low against the United States dollar but mainly due to earlier disappointing output and trade data.

Looking at the yen, overnight trading was fairly subdued with a 109.89/110.16 range taking hold.

The Swiss and the yen are often sought in times of geopolitical tension partly because both countries have big current account surpluses.

United Kingdom housebuilders Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Development fell 2.8pc to 3pc after data showed house prices grew at their weakest pace in over four years last month. The kiwi later retraced some gains and last stood at $0.7350, staying above Wednesday's three-week low of $0.7309.

Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,284.64 per ounce as of 0616 GMT, but was set for a weekly gain of over 2 percent.

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Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 40.25 points, or 0.68 percent, on volume of 29,918 contracts.

Dai-ichi Life Holdings dropped 1.8 percentŲŒ T&D Holdings fell 2.4 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 1.1 percent.

European equity markets are deep in the red early in the session - a typical response in risk-off trading - experiencing similar losses to those seen in the USA on Thursday and Asia overnight.

Morgan Stanley analysts raised their forecasts for the euro in a note sent to clients late on Thursday, predicting the single currency would rise to $1.25 in the first quarter of next year and reach parity with sterling for the first time.

Though tensions have been building for months amid new missile tests by the North, including the launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the pace has intensified since the U.N. Security Council on Saturday passed sweeping new sanctions Trump had requested. Wells Fargo still ended up 0.3%.

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the US and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

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