Economy

Dollar at eight-week low vs yen as North Korea tensions simmer

Dollar at eight-week low vs yen as North Korea tensions simmer”

SAFE HAVEN FLOW: The most traditional safe havens at times of mounting geopolitical unrest are the Swiss franc and the gold, and both were big movers on Wednesday.

Trump's remarks on Tuesday afternoon that North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" weighed on Wall Street and drove up the VIX "fear gauge" .VIX , or the cost of protection against a drop in the S&P 500. USA gold futures gained 1.63 percent to $1,283.20 an ounce.

"This selloff could be more than just a North Korea induced blip on the screen", Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, wrote in a report on Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 33.08 points, or 0.15 percent, at 22,085.34, snapping a 9-day streak of closing records.

Bond prices were little changed. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent to 19,738.71 while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent to 2,368.39.

The dollar index dipped to a one-week low after the data.

Commenting on the impact of the political sabre-rattling, Old Mutual Global Investors' Ned Naylor Leyland, responsible for gold and silver investing, said any further escalation could serve to drive the metals' price even further.

Outside of geopolitical concerns, disappointing company earnings and outlooks put traders in a selling mood.

Avis Budget Group slumped 9.9 percent after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

Copper lost 0.39 percent to $6,455.00 a tonne. The stock lost 89 cents to $3.82.

JAPAN MACHINERY DISAPPOINTS: Orders for machinery in June, considered a leading economic indicator, were slower than analysts had forecast and at their weakest since May 2016.

The benchmark United States yield yesterday was just above 2.2 per cent, at its lowest level since late June, as investors bought up Treasuries, a classic safe harbor.

BIG GAINERS: Health care stocks were among the big gainers.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Australian shares were down 1.3 per cent, set for a weekly loss of 0.5 per cent.

The Korean won also continued to skid, sliding 0.4 per cent to 1,146.2, below its 200-day moving average.

Gold prices, which hit a two-month low on Thursday, were steady at $1,286.16 an ounce, after surging over 2 percent in the past two sessions. Seagate shares rose 69 cents to $32.24.

Stock movers:Nordstrom Inc.(JWN) shares rose 0.7% after the retailer late Thursday posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-shares-rise-after-retailer-tops-views-sales-rise-2017-08-10), along with a sales rise. The euro slid to $1.1752 from $1.1793.

Overseas markets were also lower Wednesday.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.

Spot gold added 1.3 percent to $1,277.15 an ounce.

United States and British equivalents were also trading a touch above Wednesday's six-week lows.

Amid the hot rhetoric, US stocks sold off sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent.



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