European markets end lower amid geopolitical tensions

Yen Franc Gains May Evaporate as Quickly as They Appeared

Traders took heart in a measure of usa consumer prices that increased only slightly in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year. That weighed on bank shares, which were down the most.

The euro slid 0.3 percent to 129.34 yen, and fell 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.1743.

The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week. The major indexes were coming off their biggest single-day decline since May 17.

The yen firmed slightly against the dollar early on Wednesday after North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The dollar index was trading 0.2 per cent up at 93.73.

"If you look at the gold price after the CPI (inflation) data, it tells you that the Fed is not going to be in any rush to increase the interest rate this year", said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets.

Both the Swiss franc and the yen have climbed against the dollar this week, after US President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

There were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday.

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The Swiss franc jumped on Wednesday and higher yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar tumbled as the latest bout of geopolitical tensions emerging from the Korean Peninsula prompted investors to cut positions. It's still the highest it's been since May. Investors include the government funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, as well as Apple Inc. and other tech companies. The sector was the biggest decliner on Thursday. It is heading for a 2.5 percent drop for the week.

Stock movers:Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares edged up after the retailer posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10). The stock has more than doubled over the past 12 months, gaining more than 160%. Perrigo rose $1.58, or 2.1 percent, to $78.43. It also raised its outlook. The pizza delivery company said it will pay GBP24.0 million for a three quarter stake in 25 London stores to "take advantage of the significant growth opportunity" in the capital. The stock lost 89 cents to $3.82.

Nvidia's quarterly revenue in its data center and automotive businesses missed estimates, dragging the chipmaker's shares down 5.43 percent.

Chinese bluechips lost 1.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 1.9 percent lower. It is poised to end the week down 1.9 percent. Palladium fell 0.2% to $895.30 per ounce.

Concluding with oil, WTI was last 1.0% down on the day, just above $48 a barrel, while Brent crude was 0.9% down, around $51.40 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price global oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London. However, the rally stopped with all the currency pairs being broadly flat and gold modestly declining as European traders were starting the day.

BONDS: Bond prices were rose.

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

The sell-off is likely to extend into the European session, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 to open down about 0.7 percent each and Britain's FTSE 100 to start 0.55 percent lower.