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FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

12 Août 2017

Johannesburg/London - Gold prices climbed to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, while bullion also received support from weak U.S. inflation data.

"Henkel's Beauty has underperformed peers for several years and given the results this morning, this trend looks set to continue - at least over the near-term", said Investec analyst Eddy Hargreaves in a note.

Many world stock markets have hit record or multiyear highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off, and the tensions over North Korea proved to be the trigger.

Gartman's comments follow Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio's gold recommendation: "We can also say that if the above things go badly, it would seem that gold (more than other safe haven assets like the dollar, yen, and treasuries) would benefit", Dalio wrote in a LinkedIn blog post. The Japanese currency rallied broadly against most major currencies, including the euro, the kiwi and sterling.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent to 19,740.12 and Seoul's Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 2,375.88.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower.

"I do think I expect inflation to also start to move higher in the medium term but probably not get all the way back to 2-percent on a year-over-year basis, because, remember, we've had these very weak inflation readings for a number of month", Dudley said.

Retailers slid after department stores Macy's and Kohl's both said same-store sales continued to decline in the second quarter.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $3.40, or 0.26%, to $1,293.37 a troy ounce.

The strength on Wall Street is partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions. "Every August we have some reason to run up the alarm", Kenny said.

Investors' focus was beginning to return 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, while cautioning disappointing inflation data may delay interest rate increases.

JC Penney slumped 16.56% to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.

Perrigo surged 17.6 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1 339 to 865. In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September.

FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears