S&P falls 1.4 pct in safety flight on N. Korea tensions

12 August, 2017, 19:13 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Asian and US equities were hit by the escalating geopolitical tensions

"But looking ahead, unless we start to see a conflict breakout or a major stock market correction, (gold) is capped at $1,295, (although) the upside at the moment is the favoured direction".

The recent resilience of data on the United States economy has not dampened the latest climb, despite depressing prices earlier in the week as reports returned high employment figures ahead of further USA inflation information this week.

The positive data also bolstered the greenback against the euro and the pound Wednesday.

Trump, whose threat this week to bring "fire and fury" was dismissed by North Korea, said Thursday that statement might not have been "tough enough".

The rhetoric between the US and North Korea has continued to heat up, leading traders to look to safe havens such as gold and treasuries. The U.S. dollar was down 0.3% at 110.01 yen which hurt the share prices of motor-vehicle makers, technology companies and banks. On the Nasdaq, 2,303 issues fell and 567 advanced.

"Traders should closely watch global equities today, with further falls and risk aversion likely pumping more safe-haven flows into precious metals", said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).

That said, analysts remain bullish on gold for the rest of the year.

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When Iraq invaded Kuwait 27 years ago this month, the S&P 500 fell 1.1 percent, and was down 9.3 percent 20 days later.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days.

South Korean shares, which have been among the strongest performers in the world so far this year, fell 0.9 percent, while the won sank around 0.7 percent to 1,136.4 to the dollar.

Mattis said North Korea must stop isolating itself and "stand down" in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang "should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people". Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London.

US stock indexes were set to open little changed on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track to post its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as investors remained cautious on heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea.

USA credit card processing company Vantiv secured a deal to buy British-based rival Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10.4 billion) Wednesday in a bid to create a $29 billion global payments powerhouse. Some of Canada's biggest banks were also influential decliners, but closed with only moderate losses.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

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