Equities fall on rising tension between US & North Korea

The Dow is up 34.62 points or 0.2% at 21,878.63, the Nasdaq is up 25.62 points or 0.4% at 6,242.49 and the S&P 500 is up 4.36 points or 0.2% at 2,442.57.

There were falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down - taking their cues from sharp losses on Wall Street earlier. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.75 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33 percent.

Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has been steadily hitting records, posted its biggest decline since May.

Safe-haven assets gained following the rising geopolitical tensions.

"But now we're seeing increasing rather than diminishing tensions", he said.

It stood 0.16 percent down on the day at 109.03 yen per dollar by 1047 GMT.

Sterling touched a three-week low against the dollar as mixed output and trade data did little to alter investors' downbeat view of an economy struggling to meet Bank of England targets. NASDAQ futures slid 8.5 points, or 0.2%, to 5,780.


Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology's 0.36 percent rise leading the advancers. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis. Basically if the streak of trading days without a 1%+ up or down day is going to be broken, it's better for it to break with a 1%+ down day than a 1%+ up day. A rise in expectations for global inflation has left investors generally short of the two currencies and the turnaround in the franc this week by contrast follows its worst week since the Swiss National Bank removed a ceiling on the currency in January 2015. It was last up 1.2% at 1.1305 per euro. Yields on core government debt fell.

Weaker-than-expected July consumer price data led investors to bet that benign inflation would keep the U.S. Federal Reserve from raising rates again this year.

"As a portfolio manager, you say, 'Do I think we'll get a war out of this?' " said Torsten Slok, chief worldwide economist at Deutsche Bank, referring to the bluster between North Korea and President Donald Trump. Oil prices rose after a report showed USA refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $48.47 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The December gold contract was ahead US$16.70 to US$1,279.30 an ounce.

Josh Saul, chief executive officer of London-based The Pure Gold Company, which is among the bullion merchants reporting incremental trading, said: "We've seen a 64% increase in people purchasing physical gold for the first time in recent sessions citing the breakdown of worldwide relations".

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