Stock markets lower, gold price continues to rise amid political tensions

Stock markets lower, gold price continues to rise amid political tensions

Stock markets lower, gold price continues to rise amid political tensions

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.06 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.17 percent.

KOREA JITTERS: North Korea and the United States traded escalating threats, heightening fears that a miscalculation might spark conflict.

Mr Trump's threat earlier this week, to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it attacked, was ultimately dismissed as bluster by many investors.

The latest confrontation with North Korea intensified after reports that North Korea developed the ability to put a small nuclear warhead on top of a missile.

"Too many past administrations have kicked the can down the road and we've finally come to the end of the road where North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them", he said.

Spot gold was almost flat at $1,285.76 per ounce at 0447 GMT and was set for a weekly gain of over 2 percent.

Wall Street closed sharply lower, with Dow Jones down over 200 points on Thursday.

United Nations chief 'heartbroken' by forced drownings of scores of African migrants
The journey through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is particularly unsafe during the current windy season in the Indian Ocean. The IOM said it feared the incidents might mark the start of a new trend in people-smuggling that could lead to more deaths.

A Reuters Datastream index of more than 7,000 stocks across the globe saw its market capitalisation drop from a record high US$61.36 trillion on Monday to US$60.43 trillion at the close on Thursday.

Travel website operator Priceline Group Inc fell 6.9 percent after a disappointing financial forecast. The newswire also quoted Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management, as commenting in a note that the assumption was "that the "battle of the bombasts" will remain verbal for the foreseeable future and that Guam will drop out of the headlines as quickly as it has been inserted into them". The data suggest employers have plenty of jobs to fill but are struggling to find workers. Elsewhere, the German Dax has opened down 0.80%, France's CAC40 index is down 0.87%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.81%.

On Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley said he expects sluggish United States inflation to rise over the next several months while the hot labor market gets even hotter.

Concerns over geopolitical risks probably led investors to pare back bearish bets against the yen and the Swiss franc, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, referring to the gains in those currencies on Wednesday. Against that backdrop, Dudley might provide an upbeat outlook and confirm that the Fed is on track for a rate hike, said Innes. The strong performance of these companies is clearly related to the North Korea drama.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.93 yen from Tuesday's 110.34.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3009, up 0.27 percent on the day.

US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day. "You're less than 2 per cent off the high for the S&P heading into a weekend where uncertainty with North Korea still lingers". Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London.

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