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Gold surges as United States and North Korea ratchet up nuclear tensions
13 August 2017, 03:20 | Jan Cross
Wall Street falls after Trump warning to North Korea
The stage was set for the US indexes to go lower early Wednesday as investors around the world reacted to the rising war of words between the United States and North Korea, pushing global market indexes lower.
Equities slid and the Swiss franc and some developed-market government bonds advanced as President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" following a series of missile tests by the communist regime, boosting demand for haven assets. Meanwhile, euro/dollar was 0.2% up, just shy of the 1.18 handle, pound/dollar was flat, having earlier hit a three-week low of 1.2939 and dollar/yen was 0.1% down above the 109 level - the pair fell to 108.72 after the data on US CPI, its lowest since April 20.
"The people of this country should be very comfortable, and I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack, of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous", Trump said.
USA government bonds strengthened Friday as soft inflation data led investors to further scale back expectations for interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 dropped the most since May and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS lost 1.1 percent in its third straight day of declines, as it pulled further back from all-time highs.
S&P 500 measures the performance of 500 widely held common stocks of large-cap US companies. While the Nasdaq climbed 39.68 points or 0.6 percent to 6,256.56, the Dow inched up 14.31 points or 0.1 percent to 21,858.32 and the S&P 500 edged up 3.11 points or 0.1 percent to 2,441.32.
Investors bought bonds after the Labor Department said the consumer-price index increased 0.1% in July from the previous month.
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After North Korea claimed Trump is "driving" the Korean peninsula to the "brink of a nuclear war", the president responded with a tweet suggesting the United States is prepared to take military action against the communist nation. The Dow slumped by 1.1 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 tumbled by 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4 percent.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 1 percent, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent.
Gold is up 11% so far this year. The euro rose to $1.1812 from $1.1774.
Traders snapped up shares in companies that delivered strong quarterly results. The u.s. central bank, one of whose tasks is to contain the price rise, does not therefore appear to be obliged to accelerate the pace of the slow tightening of monetary that it has committed.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.255 percent from its U.S. close of 2.282 percent on Tuesday.
On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 108.82 yen compared to the 109.20 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Thursday.
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Investors flee stocks for gold
Gold's main safe haven in times of geopolitical instability, has taken $27.50 per ounce, or more than 2 % in two sessions. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street after several companies reported disappointing results.
US Futures Point South as US-North Korea Rhetoric Heats Up
Penney slumped as much as 18.25 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the US dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close.
FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears
About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on USA stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions. It soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and is set for a weekly gain of 2.25 percent.