Markets

Gold Hits Two-Month High on North Korea Tensions

Gold Hits Two-Month High on North Korea Tensions

US equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

Trump suggested in remarks on Thursday that his comments threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" may not have been tough enough.

On Friday, an MSCI index of stocks across the globe posted its largest weekly drop since the week before Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November.

The Japanese yen rises to a two-month high against the US dollar overnight as safe-haven flows dominate trading.

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent.

"The unpredictable nature of North Korea means it is hard to gauge exactly how likely an attack is, yet given the military power of both nations, there is no surprise we are seeing markets shift out of risk assets and into havens such as the yen and gold", said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony, in a note.

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".

Gold added $16.70, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $1,279.30 an ounce.

Rising costs for housing, medical care and food helped push the Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 0.1 percent in July, seasonally adjusted, after no change in June and a 0.1 decrease in May, the US Labor Department said.

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French second division club Clermont Foot had set the trend by appointing Helena Costa as their manager in May 2014. Brighton's first top-flight match in 34 years sees them host title favourites Manchester City .

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,466 as of 11:20 a.m.

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 Korean won fell more than 1 percent at one point and is now down 0.5 percent.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was almost flat on the day at 93.646, remaining above last week's 15-month low of 92.548.

In Europe, the pan-continental STOXX 600 index fell 0.9 percent, with falls deepening after a auto rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six, in what officials said was a suspected terrorist attack.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23.

Traders snapped up shares in companies that delivered strong quarterly results. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.

Several indexes closed lower overnight.

In commodities, US. crude fell 0.67 per cent to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.58, down 0.23 per cent on the day. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.826 compared to yesterday's $1.1772.