BEIJING — Global stock prices slid Wednesday after President Donald Trump and North Korea traded threats over the North's nuclear program.
KOREA JITTERS: Trump and North Korea traded escalating threats, heightening fears that a miscalculation might spark conflict. Trump warned that the North would be met "with fire and fury.'' Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific with a military base. The comments follow reports that the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC 40 fell 1.5 per cent to 5,141.37 points and Germany's DAX lost 1.2 per cent to 12,144.54. London's FTSE 100 shed 0.8 per cent to 7,481.30. On Tuesday, the DAX added 0.3 per cent, the CAC 40 gained 0.2 per cent and the FTSE rose 0.1 per cent. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.4 per cent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.1 per cent.
ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 per cent to 19,738.71 and Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 per cent to 2,368.39. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent to 3,275.57 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 per cent at 27,757.09. India's Sensex shed 0.5 per cent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 5,773.70 while New Zealand also rose.
WALL STREET: Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled U.S. stocks lower, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. The market slide accelerated slightly in the last half-hour of trading as Trump denounced North Korea's nuclear program. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 per cent, to 2,474.92. The Dow slid 0.2 per cent to 22,085.34. Both were coming off record highs. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.2 per cent, to 6,370.46.
U.S. ECONOMY: Employers posted a record number of open jobs in June while a survey of small businesses showed optimism improving. Job openings jumped 8 per cent to 6.2 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The number of people quitting their jobs also dropped. The data suggest employers have plenty of jobs to fill but are struggling to find workers. The NFIB small business optimism index rose to 105.2 in July from 103.6 in June. That "looks high enough to be consistent with a 5 per cent-plus pace for real GDP growth,'' Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics said in a report.
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