US futures downbeat amid North Korea concerns
US futures indicated a downbeat open on Wall Street on Friday after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb threat. North Korea threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific. Tensions have been growing between North Korea and the United States in the past few months, with the Asian nation conducting nuclear test in recently and has threatened more nuclear test.
Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were down 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures were off 0.2%.
North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said the country could consider a nuclear test of “unprecedented scale”. He was speaking at a United Nations meeting in New York on Thursday.
Meanwhile, North Korean president Kim Jong Un said US President Donald Trump is “deranged” and will “pay dearly” for his threats, North Korea’s official news agency reported. The North Korean president added that his country would consider “the hardest level of hardline countermeasure in history” against the US. He was responding to comments by the US president in which he pledged to destroy North Korea if the US was attacked. The US president was speaking at a speech at the United Nations.
IG market analyst Joshua Mahony said:
“Global risk sentiment within the markets has taken a hit this morning, as the US-North Korean standoff has ratcheted up once more. Coming off the back of Donald Trump’s threat that the US could totally destroy North Korea, they have finally responded in kind, with their foreign minister stating that the leader could detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.
“Unsurprisingly we have seen the value of gold and the yen gain ground, with overnight losses in Asian equities leading to a similarly downbeat tone in Europe in the early hours of trade.”
Investors will eye speeches from three Fed officials. San Francisco Fed President John Williams is due to speak at the Swiss National Bank Research Conference in Zurich, while Kansas City President Esther George will deliver a keynote speech at an oil conference in Oklahoma and Dallas Fed chief Robert Kaplan will take part in a Q&A at the same conference.
Meanwhile, shares in biopharmaceutical group Versartis tumbled in pre-market trade after it said late on Thursday that its drug somavaratan did not meet its primary endpoint in a phase 3 trial.
Apple shares slipped as the technology giant launched its iPhone 8.
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