European stocks move lower after Trump warns North Korea of ‘fire and fury’; Brenntag slips 7.1% – CNBC

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European markets continued lower on Wednesday afternoon amid escalating geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.75 percent during mid-afternoon deals with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Europe’s banking index slipped almost 2 percent on Wednesday and remained on course for its worst trading day in three months. Germany’s two biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank led the losses, both off by more than 3.5 percent.

Chemicals were also more than 1.3 percent lower on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected earnings. Germany’s Brenntag, the world’s largest chemical distributor, slumped to the bottom of the benchmark after reporting slower performances across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its shares dipped over 6.9 percent in afternoon trade.

Elsewhere, Scout 24 soared towards the top of the index, up by more than 5.5 percent, after reporting an operating earnings increase at a “disproportionate rate” for the first half of the year, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., indexes opened lower as investors reacted to increasingly aggressive rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.

‘Fire and fury’

Tensions between North Korea and the United States escalated to unprecedented levels after President Donald Trump warned the former would be “met with fire and fury” if it continued its threats. Pyongyang replied it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, where a U.S. military base is located.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday he doesn’t believe there is “any imminent threat” from North Korea, including to the U.S. territory of Guam.

However, investors were shifting from stocks to safe-haven options such as the yen, gold and U.S. Treasurys. The Swiss franc rose above 1 percent against the U.S. dollar. European bonds were also among the top choices this Wednesday. The yield on the German government bond dropped to a six-week low. Yields moved inversely to the price.

Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.

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European stocks move lower after Trump warns North Korea of ‘fire and fury’; Brenntag slips 7.1% – CNBC

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