North Korea nerves rattle stocks, lift gold, yen

12 August, 2017, 15:10 | Author: Terri Saunders

The fall comes against a background of increasing tension between North Korea and the US, with the former making a threat to land a missile just short of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Nordstrom shares were up 1.63 percent at $45.60 following the apparel retailer's better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales.

Rising geopolitical tensions between U.S. and North Korea continued to keep gold and silver in green on account of increasing safe-haven demand.

The yen jumped against the dollar - a negative for Japanese shares - as traders looked for safe investments after President Donald Trump vowed a devastating response to any escalation of Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

The Dow and S&P 500 inched higher on the day but they both posted their largest weekly percentage drops since late March.

The resignation of President Richard Nixon - 43 years ago to the day - resulted in a first day 0.9 percent sell-off, but 20 days later, the S&P 500 was down 13.8 percent and up 6.7 percent after 250 days. Tensions between the US and North Korea saw market participants looking for safe havens - like the Switzerland franc. The market slide accelerated slightly in the last half-hour of trading as Trump denounced North Korea's nuclear program. The market was waiting f or USA consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions.

The latest US CPI data will also be an important market focus on Friday and there will be a constant threat of choppy trading conditions given a lack of liquidity.

Stocks around the world fell sharply on Thursday and investors moved into the yen, gold and other safe-haven assets amid more aggressive talk between the United States and North Korea.

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European equity markets continued to lose ground on Thursday which provided further net support to gold, especially with bond yields tending to drift lower.

"North Korea is being used as a reason to sell Japanese stocks, just as it was used yesterday in the USA", said Soichiro Monji from Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.

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.

The yen on Friday added to a strong weekly rally against the dollar of close to 1.5 per cent, hitting its highest versus the greenback in nearly four months, at 108.73 yen.

"Tomorrow will be telling, as we see if selling continues, and if there are any bargain hunters", Silverblatt said.

The dollar index .DXY , which measures against a basket of currencies, fell 0.05 percent.

USA crude rose 0.43 percent to $48.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent on the day.

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