Stocks down, gold up after North Korea threat

Stocks down, gold up after North Korea threat

Working to keep reminding people of all that was lost in his country, "fallen hero's sacrificed themselves, it was brutality and we have prevent that from happening again", said Park.

Worries over a potential confrontation between the United States and North Korea weighed heavily on global stock markets on Wednesday but helped boost the price of assets, such as gold and the Swiss franc, that are considered safe havens in times of geopolitical peril.

President Trump said on Tuesday that threats by the Hermit Kingdom would be met by "fire and fury", which was followed up a day later by a North Korea threat to bomb the USA territory of Guam.

The VIX closed 1.4 per cent higher but at the lowest level of the day at 11.11, after rising as high as 12.63. That prompted North Korea to say it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a USA -held Pacific island.

Meanwhile, investors moved money into assets seen as safe havens.

U.S. markets fell on Wednesday morning, spooked by rising tension between the USA and North Korea.

Trump tweeted yesterday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took a very different tone, insisting there was "no immediate threat" from North Korea. "If the rest of the world remains supportive, then there's reason in these earnings to be encouraged about the direction of the Japanese market, which has sort of been in a holding pattern for the past two months".

Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia.

Traditional safe-haven currencies including the Swiss franc and Japanese yen rose against the USA dollar, while those from emerging markets slid.

Wall Street stocks fell early Wednesday amid anxiety over a US-North Korea war of words as Disney shares tumbled on disappointing results.

"Tensions are still high and not going away at the moment".


USA stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday, making up much of the ground they lost earlier after a rare batch of earnings disappointments by Walt Disney and other big companies. Gold prices increased 1% and the Swiss franc gained against all major currencies. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent to 5,760.90, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,357.84.

The Swiss franc was on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015.

The RBNZ had held rates at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday and reiterated that policy would stay loose for a considerable time to come.

Yields on core government debt fell. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

Japanese stocks finished slightly lower after a choppy session on Thursday, as investors kept a wary watch on tension over North Korea ahead of Japan's long weekend.

Oil prices edged higher after a report showed USA refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited gains.

USA crude CLc1 was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

The December gold contract was ahead $16.70 United States to US$1,279.30 an ounce.

Spot gold had eased 0.1% to $1,276.40 per ounce at 8.22am.

Macy's M.N shares closed down 10.2 per cent and Kohl's KSS.N fell nearly 6 per cent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.

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