Economia

Asian stocks mostly lower on growing unease over North Korea

Asian stocks mostly lower on growing unease over North Korea

Commenting on Wednesday's geopolitical events, Mike van Dulken at Accendo Markets said: "Equities are nursing losses thanks to an unwelcome (unless of course you're short!) escalation in geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea, both trading nuclear threats that have awoken volatility from its slumber and seen risk assets shunned in favour of the traditional safe havens".

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 1.11 percent.

Against the backdrop of geopolitical tension, market participants also focused on individual earnings.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, a director at O'Neil Securities.

Companies in the retail space in the USA could be of high interest in today's trading following their pre-market earnings releases.

All three USA indices fell sharply, with the broad-based S&P 500 tumbling 1.5 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent.

Mr. Trump's remarks on Tuesday that North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" pushed Wall Street lower on Tuesday and drove up the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility on the S&P 500 higher.

"I think the muted reaction in the market has to do with Trump not necessarily following up on his tough talk", Pavlik said.

Commenting on the impact of the political sabre-rattling, Old Mutual Global Investors' Ned Naylor Leyland, responsible for gold and silver investing, said any further escalation could serve to drive the metals' price even further.

Technology companies led a broad slide in US stocks late Thursday afternoon, putting the market on track for its biggest loss in two months. The S&P 500 index dropped 35.81 points to 2,438.21, while the Nasdaq composite index slid 135.46 points to 6,216.87.

He added that in China, the US and South Korea, stocks that are showing the biggest declines since the rise of tensions between the USA and North Korea are the companies that have risen most since June.

"We would now be careful with a whiff of risk aversion in the air and, by extension, also stay away from shorts in the rates market", RBC's global macro strategist Peter Schaffrik said. The Nasdaq lost 135 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216. The Swiss franc eased against dollar about 0.1 percent to 0.9645 per dollar, having surged about 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

European equities are set to open lower on Wednesday as geopolitical concerns curbed investor sentiment. Brent crude, used to price global oils, slid 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $51.90.