emfizz.com August 19, 2017

USA tensions with North Korea rattle markets

11 August 2017, 12:11 | Patty Hardy

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North Korea said it mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the usa with a nuclear missile.

There were further tensions surrounding North Korea on Thursday with the Pyongyang regime claiming that missiles which could be used to target the Pacific island of Guam would be ready to launch by mid-August.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told Pyongyang it should stop any actions that would lead to the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

Precious metals miners were among a smattering of United Kingdom stocks enjoying a stronger session as investors set course for safe havens.

"There's uncertainty and caution as investors nervously eye the next foreign policy moves". Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that one of his first orders as president was to "renovate and modernize" the nuclear arsenal.

While Trump was threatening annihilation and boasting from the New Jersey golf resort where he's vacationing that he has made the USA nuclear arsenal "far stronger and more powerful than ever before", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to calm the sense of crisis.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.90 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.75 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33 per cent.

Markets had seen a tentative recovery in risk appetite in USA and early Asian trading, but as the war of words resumed Asian stocks dropped back and London, Frankfurt and Paris all lost 0.5-1.2 percent.

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

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The focus on North Korea largely overshadowed a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in us producer prices in the month of July.

The franc jumped 1.4 per cent to 0.9611 francs per euro in early trades. The US currency was down 0.3 per cent at 109.94 yen, following a retreat to 109.740, its weakest since June 15th.

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 30-year bond last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8107%, from 2.818% late on Wednesday.

Stock markets nosedived as investors continued moving into gold amid escalating political tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Overall, second-quarter results have been stronger than expected with analysts now expecting S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 11.8 percent, up from 8 percent at the start of July, Reuters reported.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 39 cents to $49.56 per barrel, September natural gas advanced six cents at $2.88 per mmBTU and the September copper contract declined two cents at $2.93 a pound.

Persisting global worries took gold prices to an over two-month high of Rs 29,890 per 10 grams with a gain of Rs 340 on Thursday, mirroring a firm trend overseas amid heavy local buying.

METALS: Gold added $10.80, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1,290.10 an ounce.

The US producer prices data was slightly below consensus forecasts with both headline and core prices declining 0.1% on the month.

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