Economy

Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

US stocks closed lower on Tuesday after Trump's vow to respond aggressively to any North Korean threats triggered a late afternoon selling spree.

President Trump responded that North Korea would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen".

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX , a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the election.

Such tensions remained high, with North Korea's state media saying on Thursday that North Korea will develop a plan by mid-August to launch intermediate-range missiles at the USA territory of Guam.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The tensions between North Korea and the U.S.is an excuse for profit-taking", Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

NZX50 drops 1% as North Korean tension escalates
However, the market changed its direction after President Trump warned North Korea that threats will be "met with fire and fury ". Avis Budget Group Inc. slumped 9.9 percent after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

Though Hanke said he did not expect a sustained sell-off in riskier Asian assets, he added "safe assets, as a class, are probably underpriced at present".

ASIA'S DAY: South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 percent to 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2 percent to 26,883.51.

An index of 15 gold miners tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence climbed 1.1 percent, led by Toronto-based Yamana Gold Inc.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of major peers, slipped 0.1 percent as U.S. Treasury yields fell.

Escalating tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions sent a shiver through markets worldwide and pushed the dollar to below 109.7 yen in afternoon forex trade to an eight-week low against the safe haven currency, piling more pressure on Japanese stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 36.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,048.70. Meanwhile, after jumping $10.80 to $1,290.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $6.50 to $1,296.60 an ounce.

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Shanghai posted its biggest one-day drop since December while Seoul stocks again ended deep in negative territory and the won continued its slide against the dollar.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.9 basis points to 2.212%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1 percent.

Traders snapped up shares in companies that delivered strong quarterly results.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content.

US crude oil futures settled almost 2 per cent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.826 compared to yesterday's $1.1772.

US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions
South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 percent to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 percent. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.6%, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.1% and the UK's FTSE 100 Index plunged by 1.4%.


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