Business

TSX hits 1-month low on risk aversion, lower oil prices

TSX hits 1-month low on risk aversion, lower oil prices

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, but the tense mood dragged Asian shares lower and an MSCI index of stocks across the globe posted its largest weekly drop since the week before Donald Trump won the United States presidential election in November.

Overnight, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had skidded 1.55 per cent, its biggest one-day loss since mid-December, to leave it down 2.5 per cent for the week.

At close U.S. stocks' retreat was mild as Dow and S&P 500 barely changed.

Investors have been jittery about North Korea since Tuesday when Trump said any threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". "Whether it is a credit crunch in China, policy error from the Fed, or fear of an over-valued USA stock market, there are many reasons to maintain a balanced multi-asset portfolio that has exposure to defensive asset classes and currencies". That is significant because yields fall when bond prices rise.

Housebuilders Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt fell by 2.8 to 3% on weak house price data.

The broad-based S&P 500 was hit even harder, dropping 1.5 percent to close at 2,438.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.2 percent 6,216.87.

The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76. It has been the leading S&P gainer so far this year, making it particularly vulnerable to a decline. The S&P 500 is up 9 percent, while the Dow is up 10.6 percent.

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"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.

Wall Street fell, giving up earlier gains that had sent the Dow to a fresh record high, after US President Donald Trump issued a warning to North Korea, illustrating intensifying tension between the two nations. North Korean state media has stated that Pyongyang now plans to fire a number of missiles, over Japan and towards the US Pacific territory of Guam. The trend of rotating leadership between technology shares and a group of energy and financial names - a key factor behind subdued market volatility in recent months - appears to be breaking down.

Against the Swiss Franc CHF=, the dollar erased earlier losses to traded little changed on the day. It's still the highest it's been since May.

Traders took heart in a measure of USA consumer prices that increased only slightly in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

Blue Apron shares rose 6.73 percent after the meal-kit delivery service provider reported a rise in revenue in its first quarterly report since debut.

Gold prices were up almost 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-gains-about-1-as-us-north-korea-tensions-grow-2017-08-09) to $1,273.30 an ounce.

Stocks going ex-dividend included BT, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Lloyds, and pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca, taking around 41 points off the index.


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