Gold Beats US Stocks As North Korea Worries Drive Haven Demand

Gold Beats US Stocks As North Korea Worries Drive Haven Demand

The one-upmanship in the "war of words" between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un came to accelerate the fall of the stock market.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 1.6 percent to 5,135 while Germany's DAX was down 1.3 percent at 12,133.

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.2 cents to 78.69 cents U.S. Friday morning. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defence index .djusdn was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. "What's happened in North Korea is enough to do that".

The yen held steady against the dollar, taking a breather after having risen on Wednesday to its highest level in almost eight weeks.

But the prospect of hefty losses on Wall Street stocks was averted when USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said there was "no imminent threat of war" and that Americans could "sleep well at night".

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In other corporate results, a number of companies reported forecast-beating numbers. The S&P 500 sank 1.7% from Tuesday to Thursday, the Dow fell 1.1%, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.4%.

North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat. He also said the nuclear-armed nation should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks about attacking the United States or its allies.

Fawad Razaqzada of told Reuters "the war of words between the leaders of the US and North Korea continue to dominate investor sentiment. That reset is being triggered by North Korea geopolitical concern and stretched valuations", said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, New York.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off.

But in some respects, investors do seem more scared. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.75 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33 percent.

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Additionally, US-focused events tend to have a bigger impact.

The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop. It had gained about 3% for the week so far. "Gold and silver are higher, thanks mainly to their status as safe-haven commodities".

"For now, tensions are high, yet in all likeliness we will see this intensity simmer down somewhat, with both sides standing to lose more than they would gain from military action", he added.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.

Orders fell 4.7 percent from the previous quarter in April-June, suggesting demand is weaker than expected, though economists say the outlook for coming months is more upbeat.

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