USA stocks inch higher on Friday

Today in Korean history

Today in Korean history

US DATA: The other potential driver in markets will be upcoming USA economic data, including monthly inflation figures, which could go a long way to determining expectations for the pace at which the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. That weighed on bank shares, which were down the most.

At 12:36 p.m. ET (1636 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 158.98 points, or 0.72 percent, at 21,889.72 and the S&P 500 was down 27.37 points, or 1.11 percent, at 2,446.65. The Dow slid 33.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,085.34. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1%, to 1,373.

However, an Associated Press report that the US and North Korea have been engaged in back channel talks ( for several months even as they exchange incendiary threats helped to soothe some of the jitters. The Federal Reserve, which raised its key interest rate in March and June, has signaled it plans a third rate hike before the end of this year. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months. Trump's comments came after a Washington Post report that North Korea has built a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

At a briefing on opioid addiction at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump warned North Korea not to make any more threats against the United States, adding that North Korea would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"The gold market shows various signs of ambivalence and we believe that this pattern will continue into the foreseeable future", Norbert Rücker, head of macro commodity research at Julius Baer, said in a note.

Gold extended gains after data showed USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. It's still the highest it's been since May.

Investors bid up technology sector shares. KLA-Tencor gained $2.62, or 3 percent, to $90.17. It soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and is set for a weekly gain of 2.25 percent. Investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company. Investors dipped back into stocks and retreated from assets they consider to be safer stores of value, such as gold.

The euro dipped 0.1 per cent to $1.1733 but the single European currency has been slipping this week against the dollar, having hit a more than 2 1/2-year high of $1.1892 on August 2. Shanghai's main index also tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10.

J.C. Penney (JCP.N) finished down 16.6 percent after hitting a record low following the retailer's bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. The stock lost $3.03 to $8.81. AES Corp. shed 26 cents, or 2.3%, to $11.12.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price global oils, was down 35 cents to $51.55 a barrel in London.

The dollar was down 0.77 percent against the yen at 109.21 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices were rose.

But while most traders appeared to favor safe-haven assets, bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare the day's earlier losses.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3006, up 0.02 percent on the day. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1%.

South Korea's won currency dropped 0.9 per cent against the dollar to its lowest close since 13 July. It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

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