European stocks were shoved lower Friday, heading for their worst weekly loss in nine months, as the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea prompted investors to back away from assets perceived as risky.
For the week, the index was on course to fall 2.7% and that would mark the worst week since early November 2016, just before the U.S. presidential election.
Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, -0.33% on Friday was off 0.6% to 11,942.39. The index on Thursday briefly dipped below 12,000 for the first time since April.
“It could be another rough day for European equities. The DAX is flirting with support at the 200-day moving average just above 11,950 and another bout of risk aversion is likely to see this breached, if the falls in Asia overnight are anything to go on,” said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.
European equities extended losses Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday warned that his threat on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea “maybe wasn’t tough enough.” Trump’s comments came as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat to strike a U.S. military base in Guam.
China weighed in on the standoff late Thursday, saying in an editorial in state-run Global Times that Beijing will intervene if the U.S. strikes first against North Korea.
Oil stocks were feeling the additional weight of lower oil prices CLU7, -0.84% LCOV7, -0.71% , which were down about 1%. Shares of oil producer Tullow Oil PLC TLW, -6.36% sank 5.2% and offshore energy services contractor SBM Offshore NV SBMO, -4.91% was down 4%. The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that global oil production rose in July, but it also upwardly revised its 2017 forecast for demand growth.
In other developments, Novozymes A/S shares NZYMB, -1.98% were off 3.6% after the Danish biotech firm cut its growth outlook.
National indexes: France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -1.01% fell 0.7% to 5,077.97, and in London, the FTSE 100 UKX, -1.08% flopped down 0.9% to 7,326.09. The shared currency EURUSD, -0.1359% was buying $1.1758, down from $1.774 late Thursday in New York.