Market Update & Important Indicators:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 100 points intraday after President Donald Trump called off a summit with North Korea, hitting investors with a new wave of uncertainty. News of the cancelled summit came within 30 minutes of the stock market's open, pulling down major indexes that were already showing signs of weakness. Investors had hoped the summit, which was scheduled for June 12, would ease tensions between the two countries and bring some stability to the Korean Peninsula. Instead, talks ahead of the summit stumbled after Pyongyang refused demands to denuclearize. The Dow declined 75 points, or 0.3%, to 24812 in recent trading, paring its earlier decline of more than 200 points, while the S&P 500 fell 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2%. The US gold price gained 0.9% to 1,304.10 (US$/oz).
The Stoxx Europe 600 closed down 0.5% at 390.54, its lowest closing level in more than two weeks, after U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled a summit with North Korea, causing investors to pull away from riskier assets like equities. Perceived safe havens such as gold, the yen and the Swiss franc rose. Germany's DAX dropped 0.9% as car makers suffered from news of Trump considering tariffs on car imports. France's CAC 40 ended down 0.3% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.9%. Italy's FTSE MIB dropped 0.7% and Spain's Ibex 35 lost 0.3%.
Asian stocks were all over the map, with countries' indexes seemingly moving irrespective of how other markets were faring. A bit of a broader theme was autos. Big exporters to the U.S. in Japan and Korea saw their stocks fall some 3% after U.S. President Donald Trump mused about the potential of import tariffs on vehicles. Both countries' indexes fell, though the Nikkei lagged, with a 1.1% drop as the yen has continued its rebound. China also logged declines while Malaysia's benchmark is down 1.4% after Wednesday's 2 1/2-year worst. But others have rebounded, with Singapore and India up some 0.7%. Indonesia's JSX has bounced another 2.5%, near its biggest gain since August 2016. S&P 500 futures are up a point. The Nikkei fell 1.1% while South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged down 0.2%.
Australia's stock benchmark barely ended a week-long losing streak, its longest since January, with a late-afternoon rally. But the energy sector fell another 0.55% as more of that industry's big recent days reverse. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 6037.1. Financials and materials each fell 0.4%. But health care climbed 0.3% and REITs jumped another 1.1% as Treasury yields continued to pull back. Individual stars included Aristocrat, with the slot-machine maker popping 8% to fresh record highs after its fiscal first-half report.
Base metal prices were mostly positive for Thursday on the London Metal Exchange. The aluminium price gained 0.8% to 2,280/t, while the price of lead similarly rose 0.8% to 2,488/t. A smaller gain of 0.2% was recorded in the 3-month copper contract, which closed at 6,858/t. The largest increase was seen in nickel which gained 1.7% to 14,843/t. Declining inventory levels coupled with strong demand from the electric vehicle sector supported this positive sentiment. Tin retreated 1% to close at 20,445/t.
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