World markets slide for third day on political tension

“Obviously we are looking at the increased tensions between the USA and North Korea“, said Brad Bechtel, managing director FX at Jefferies in NY.

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months. The S&P 500 and Dow were both coming off record highs.

Rising tensions between North Korea and the United States were once again the theme of the day with only the release of much-awaited inflation figures out of the U.S. managing to divert attention away from developments on that front.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term US stock market volatility, hit its highest mark since November 8, when Trump was elected president.

The 30-year bond last /32 in price to yield 2.7933 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday.

Housebuilders Persimmon and Barratt Developments were among the biggest gainers of the day, up 1.58% and 1.02% respectively.

US stock index futures fell, with the S&P 500 indicated to open down 0.4 percent after share prices fell in Europe and Asia.

The Dow ended a nine-day streak of closing records, falling by 0.24%, while the Nasdaq fell by just under half a percent and the S&P was down by 0.21%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dropped 0.5 percent in its third session of declines, with Australia .AXJO down 1.4 percent.

The recovery fit a recent pattern of investors using dips to put more money in stocks. It has been the leading S&P gainer so far this year, making it particularly vulnerable to a decline.

A statement attributed to North Korea’s head of strategic forces, General Kim Rak Gyom, said the plan for the strike would be ready by the middle of the month and would await orders from leader Kim Jong-un.

Tensions between the US and North Korea continued to simmer early Friday.

Buying interest was somewhat subdued, however, as the ever-escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea continued to raise geopolitical concerns.

The tensions, since Trump made his “fire and fury” comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

North Korea claimed “only absolute force” can work on someone as “bereft of reason” as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday.

The Swiss franc, by contrast, was on track for its biggest single-day rise against the euro in more than 2 1/2 years. It’s still the highest it’s been since May.

US producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

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. -North Korea tensions and the weak data that further reduced expectations of a Fed rate hike in December.

Data storage company Seagate Technology (STX) posted a standout gain within the hardware sector, jumping by 2.4 percent. Lam Research Corp. climbed $4.82, or 3.2 percent, to $154.26.