SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets slumped Friday as increased tensions between North Korea and the United States following President Donald Trump's bellicose remarks prompted investors to unload shares in companies that have been on the rise.
KEEPING SCORE: European stocks opened sharply lower with Britain's FTSE 100 down 1.2 percent to 7,302.18. France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,057.43 while Germany's DAX lost 0.5 percent to 11,953.94. Futures augured a weak start on Wall Street. S&P futures fell 0.2 percent while Dow futures also lost 0.2 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 percent to 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2 percent to 26,883.51. Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were also lower. Japan was closed on a public holiday.
FIRE AND FURY: Keeping up his tough talk, Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild. The remarks, following North Korea's earlier revelation of a plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, gave investors a reason to pocket profit in the sectors such as technology that have been the biggest gainers in recent months, analysts said.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The tensions between North Korea and the U.S. is an excuse for profit-taking," Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "Had investors believed a real war was on the horizon, all sectors would have declined." He added that in China, the U.S. and South Korea, stocks that are showing the biggest declines since the rise of tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are the companies that have risen most since June.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 36 cents to $48.23 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 40 cents to $51.50 per barrel in London. It slid 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $51.90 per barrel on Thursday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 108.97 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1758 from $1.1773.