Tech Companies Lead Broad Slide in US Stocks

Tech Companies Lead Broad Slide in US Stocks

He said that North Korea "can be very very nervous" if it acts on either the United States or its allies, and warned that "things will happen to them like they never thought possible". Australia bucked the trend with a 0.4% gain.

The franc wasn't the only beneficiary to the risk-off sentiment sweeping markets. The stock fell $2.04 to $20.99.

Safe-haven demand rose after North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, where a US military base is located, shrugging off President Donald Trump's earlier warning that further threats to the United States will be met with "fire and fury".

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has rallied 19 per cent so far this year, last week posting its highest close since 2007 amid strong earnings from some of the region's key companies and optimism USA interest rate increases will remain gradual.

Technology stocks, the biggest gainers this year, led Thursday's market slide.

Politics lifted U.S. defense stocks.

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the sell-off, losing 135.46 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216.87.

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The three major US indices have sold off this week amid investors' jitters after Trump said on Tuesday that threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, ended at a session low of 11.11 after rising as high as 12.63.

Oil prices edged higher after a report showed US refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited gains.

Spot gold added 1.2 percent to $1,275.60 an ounce.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.20 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.1 percent. Macy's was down 8.9 percent after the company said its sales continued to decline in the second quarter. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. The euro fell to $1.1749 from $1.1752.

A spike missile is fired in this file photo provided by South Korea's Marine Corps Command.

Meanwhile, gold stocks bucked the downtrend, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.3 percent.

The dollar was flat at 110.08 yen on Thursday, up from Wednesday's low of 109.56 yen, which was the dollar's lowest level since June 15.

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