U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

U.S. stocks tumble on North Korea worries

USA stocks closed lower on Tuesday after a late afternoon selling spree as investors fled for safety after Trump's vow to respond aggressively to any North Korean threats. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,287 per ounce by 2.17pm GMT, set for its biggest weekly gain since April.

The CBOE Volatility Index - a measure of investors' expectations for swings in the S&P 500 over the next 30 days - surged Thursday to its highest level since U.S. Election Day. The general also outlined plans to launch four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles to strike the sea around US territory Guam.

"Unsurprisingly, the yen, which is still the second best performer in the G10 foreign exchange space, is playing second fiddle to the Swiss franc due to Japan's proximity to the epicentre in Pyongyang".

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a auto hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%. The Swiss franc is a traditional safe haven.

In other precious metals, silver was almost flat at $16.90 per ounce after hitting its highest since June 15 earlier in the session.

Sterling slipped below $1.30, close to a two-and-a-half-week low but it strengthened against the euro by 0.2%, following Tuesday's 10-month low.

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USA stock indexes opened lower on Wednesday as investors turned risk averse. The US currency was down 0.3 per cent at 109.94 yen, following a retreat to 109.740, its weakest since June 15th. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

Chaiyaporn Nompitakcharoen, executive vice-president of Bualuang Securities, said the rout was the story in most stock markets around the globe for over a week, driven by nerves over the intensifying rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea.

Tokyo's Nikkei index had dropped 1.3% by the time European stock markets opened on Wednesday morning, with similar falls on the German and French bourses. "So we're not going to get to a year-over-year number of 2-percent until some of these very low readings drop out of the statistics 6 to 10 months from now".

The franc jumped 1.4 per cent to 0.9611 francs per euro in early trades.

The US currency stabilised in Europe on Friday with caution ahead of the US CPI release, although there was little in the way of buying support which limited any potential selling pressure on gold.

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.

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