North Korea Tensions Hit Global Stock Markets

stock market

Shares of ITV, Sony Corp., ProSiebenSat.1 and Vivendi were among the decliners on Wednesday.

Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners. 

The broad-based Stoxx Europe 600 stock index dropped 0.5 percent in early trading, with key indices, such as Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC all down 0.5 percent or more. Meanwhile, markets in Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries were also lower, and so-called futures signaled that U.S. markets would also open down.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks.

Analysts said media and entertainment stocks also seemed to get caught up in the broader market drop driven by the North Korea news, along with Walt Disney's news Tuesday night that it was ending its Disney and Pixar film licensing deal with Netflix to launch its own streaming service, but emphasized it was often difficult to isolate reasons behind specific stocks' movements. "Media would get impacted like most sectors, explained Liberum Capital analyst Ian Whittaker.

In the U.K., the stock of TV giant ITV was down 1.9 percent in early trading, and Sky shares were down 0.5 percent, while Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 fell 1.2 percent.

Elsewhere, French conglomerate Vivendi saw its stock fall 2.1 percent in the morning hours, while Italy's Mediaset dropped only 0.3 percent. Sony Corp. shares in Tokyo dropped 1.6 percent.

Trump had told North Korea to not "make any more threats" to the U.S. or the country "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." Hours later, North Korea said it was considering launching missiles at Guam.

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