Economy

Investors React to Trump's North Korea Threats

Investors React to Trump's North Korea Threats

France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,057.43 while Germany's DAX lost 0.5 percent to 11,953.94.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Biswas: While geopolitical risks due to escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula have been reflected in some modest declines in some worldwide equity markets in recent days, there has been many previous episodes of rising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Many world stock markets have hit record or multiyear highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off, and the tensions over North Korea proved to be the trigger.

"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction, so North Korea has provided a flawless trigger", he added. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 10 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,399. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,287 per ounce by 2.17pm GMT, set for its biggest weekly gain since April. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent.

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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.

"Heightened geopolitical risks overnight have seen the markets flip from risk-on to risk-off and we have to wait and see how long this move runs before adding some positions", said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING.

Trump's second warning, however, has shaken markets that have been largely resilient this year, swatting away a slew of risks. The Korean won fell against the US dollar. The NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index plunged by 3.4% to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft US inflation data.

The dollar widened losses against the yen to hit a two-month low.

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Physical demand of has also been lower due to the levy of a three per cent goods and services tax (GST), in addition to 10 per cent import duty. has become costlier with GST, the overall levy now higher by 0.75 per cent.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen are often sought out in times of geopolitical tension or global financial stress, partly because both countries have big current account surpluses.

But "the yen may be expected to lose its safe haven status if U.S".

Against the Swiss Franc, the dollar erased earlier losses to traded little changed on the day. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.47 percent lower.

Aside from geopolitical concerns, gold-focused investors are awaiting U.S. inflation data set to be released on Friday (August 8). The 30-year bond was last up 4/32 in price to yield 2.7871 per cent, from 2.794 per cent late on Thursday.

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%.

Investors await the headline U.S.consumer inflation data for July for more clues about future Fed decisions. KLA-Tencor gained $2.62, or 3 percent, to $90.17. Palladium added 0.4% to $899.80 per ounce and was on track to end the week about 2% higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.0 basis points to 1.804 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 2.0 basis points to 2.004 percent. Perrigo rose $1.58, or 2.1 percent, to $78.43.


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