Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions

Wall St set to open flat after inflation data, N.Korea tensions

Aug 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday as investors scurried to safe-haven assets after President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea escalated tensions with the nuclear-armed nation.

The South Korean Won is also suffering, falling by 0.8% to a four-week low against the United States dollar.

National indices: Korea's Kospi stock benchmark lost 1.1% as geopolitical concerns grew, while United States futures ahead of Wednesday's trade were modestly lower.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.

The fall comes against a background of increasing tension between North Korea and the US, with the former making a threat to land a missile just short of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.

"What we're seeing today is political tensions over North Korea and the United States. making people nervous", said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in NY.

Railroad stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Railroads Index up by 1.3%.

Speculative positions in US gold futures remain subdued, said UBS strategist Joni Teves.

JC Penney Earnings Amid Q2 Weakness in Retail
The last close places the company's stock about $5.91 off its 52 week high of $11.3 and $1.22 above the 52 week low of $4.17. Some chains, notably Nordstrom, have fought back by investing heavily in their own off-price stores and online presence.

THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

U.S. Treasury long-dated yields dropped to six-week lows, pressured by U.S. "It's hard to tell whether this could trigger a stronger bout of risk aversion".

The Swiss franc has gained about 1.3 percent against the dollar so far this week, while the yen has advanced around 1.5 percent in the same period.

In currencies, the yen strengthened 0.64 percent versus the greenback at 109.37 per dollar.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days.

The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 percent drop. The beat in GDP growth gave the Singapore dollar a slight boost: The currency traded at S$1.3623 to the dollar at 8:31 a.m. HK/SIN compared to levels around S$1.3634 seen before the release.

Gold prices XAU= rose 0.2 percent to $1,287.30 an ounce, after surging over 2 percent in the previous two sessions to a two-month high. Both the Nasdaq and the Russell are set for their third straight weekly decline. Brent crude edged down by 0.13 percent to trade at $51.82 a barrel and USA crude shed 0.06 percent to trade at $48.56. It is now on track for its biggest weekly drop since the week before the November 8 US presidential election.

The Korean won also continued to skid, down 0.45 per cent to 1,147.2, falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a month.

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