Global markets jarred by North Korea fears

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

"Trump's comments about North Korea have created nervousness and the fear is if the President really means what he said: "fire and fury"," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets in London.

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the USA presidential election.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday but the yen powered on, hitting an eight-week high of 108.91 yen to the dollar, adding to its biggest weekly gain since May.

"There are four more [inflation] prints between now and the December FOMC meeting and we expect the Fed to remain data-dependent, if a touch more cautious", TD Securities said in a research note.

"We call on the relevant parties to be cautious with their words and actions, and contribute more toward easing tensions and enhancing mutual trust", Geng said. It would be ideal for the precious metals if the dollar were to weaken again now, and that could happen courtesy if USA economic data is weaker.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement on Wednesday it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large U.S. military base.

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.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3007, up 0.25 percent on the day. The Dow slumped 204.69 points or 0.9 percent to 21,844.01, the Nasdaq plummeted 135.46 points or 2.1 percent to 6,216.87 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.81 points or 1.5 percent to 2,438.21.


Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the department store operator reported a wider than expected second quarter loss despite better than expected revenues. They have soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and are set for a weekly gain of 2.25 percent.

In currencies, the yen strengthened 0.64 per cent versus the greenback at 109.37 per dollar.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.90 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02. Amid this renewed flare-up in tensions with North Korea, Capital Economics chose to take a look at how the precious metal has responded to geopolitical risk events since 1985.

Several indexes closed lower overnight.

USA producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

Front month Comex gold for August delivery rose 0.84% to $1,283.70 per troy ounce on Thursday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,319.71. The media giant's stock dropped approximately 5 percent in early trade and shaved off about 43 points from the price-weighted Dow.

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