TSX falls 0.94% as oil drops, geopolitical tensions rise

A man looks at an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo Japan

US stocks closed lower for the third day in a row Thursday, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the a year ago.

Stocks slide at the open as continuing tensions between the USA and North Korea weigh on investor sentiment; Dow -0.5%, S&P -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.8%. The S&P 500 lost 10.71 points, or 0.43 percent, to 2,463.31. The Dow is down 123.95 points or 0.6% at 21,924.75, the Nasdaq is down 95.89 points or 1.5% at 6,256.44 and the S&P 500 is down 23.40 points or 1% at 2,450.62. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

The utilities index, often seen as a bond proxy because of its companies' slow reliable growth and high dividends, was the only S&P sector that ended the day up, showing a 0.25 percent gain.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.

Gold miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were among the only gainers on the FTSE, up 1.9 to 2.3 percent as investors rushed to the safety of gold.

For the week, the index was on course to fall 2.7% and that would mark the worst week since early November 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-face-worst-week-in-9-months-rattled-by-political-risk-2016-11-04), just before the US presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,032.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.

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Several political figures, including President Donald Trump , took to social media to promote unity as a country. The confrontation was a stark reminder of the growing political polarization since Trump's election past year .

Australian shares were down 1.3 percent, set for a weekly loss of 0.6 percent and Chinese and Hong Kong bluechips lost 1.6 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities. On the Nasdaq, 1,846 issues fell and 953 advanced favoring decliners.

He said: "While the two monetary metals continue to trade mostly on real yield dynamics, some investors reacted to the escalating tension by buying these traditional safe-haven instruments".

Politics lifted USA defense stocks.

The price of oil was also 0.3% ahead at 52.29 USA dollars a barrel, with stockpiles coming under pressure from falling crude oil imports and record processing at American refineries.

The market's backstop safety asset, gold, edged up to its latest two-month high of $1,288 an ounce. The tension increased the selling pressure in the market.

Canadian Tire Corp Ltd rose 3.4 percent to C$146.65. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 16 cents to $52.30 in London.

US crude oil +0.4% at $49.76/bbl. Euro zone blue chips slipped 1.1pc.

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