By Laila Kearney
NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) – Shares sank worldwide on Thursday as U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a planned June meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while tariff fears hit auto stocks and safety buying ramped up.
Trump, in a letter to North Korea released by the White House, called off the June 12 summit, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement by Pyongyang. The cancellation came even after North Korea followed through on a pledge to blow up tunnels at its nuclear test site.
As investors digested the latest development in the tumultuous U.S.-North Korea relationship, stocks sank, with the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1 percent, before cutting losses by the close of American markets.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,811.76, the S&P 500 lost 5.53 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,727.76 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.53 points, or 0.02 percent, to 7,424.43.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.19 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.63 percent.
Meanwhile, some investors took Trump’s message with a grain of salt.
“The cancellation generated a knee-jerk risk-off response,” John Canavan, market strategist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in New York. “The longer-term impact should be modest.”
Markets had plenty more to digest, including minutes from the latest Fed and European Central Bank meetings, but in Asian and European trading, it was U.S. plans to investigate auto imports that caused the biggest moves.
“We are at the mercy of the (Trump) administration, not just on North Korea but on trade with the