LONDON MARKET CLOSE: Gold Up As US-North Korea Tensions Hit Sentiment

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Asian stocks lower as US, NKorea nuclear tensions rise

Safe-haven assets gained. Gold rose 1.2 percent, while the Swiss franc was on track to post its biggest single day rise in about two-and-a-half years. India's Sensex shed 0.5 percent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.

"Both precious metals are looking increasingly bullish from a technical standpoint, but gold has drifted higher of late, breaking many resistance levels in the process".

Additionally, China weighed in on the standoff, saying in an editorial in state-run Global Times (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060791.shtml) that Beijing will intervene if the US strikes first against North Korea.

European stock markets fell further in opening trade on Friday on intensifying fears over North Korea, dealers said.

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Korea said it is examining an operational plan for firing a ballistic missile towards Guam. The S&P 500 sank 1.7% from Tuesday to Thursday, the Dow fell 1.1%, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.4%.

After threatening to visit "fire and fury" on North Korea, President Donald Trump said that maybe the warning "wasn't tough enough". In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September.

ANALYST TAKE: "We're seeing significant risk aversion in the markets on Wednesday, with the escalation in tensions between the USA and North Korea triggering moves into safe haven assets", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123 points, or 0.6 percent, to 21,923.

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President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station on Thursday. Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares fell 5.5%, even after the chip maker posted upbeat earnings late Thursday.

The increased geopolitical tensions this week, centred on the Korean peninsula and the nearby USA territory of Guam, have caused stock markets around the world to fall back as investors turn cautious.

However, analysts at UBS Evidence Lab said Domino's market position is challenged with growing competition and United Kingdom consumer weakness, and that investment was needed to simply maintain its market position.

Later on Friday, investors will look to US July consumer price data for hints on the Fed's policy outlook and near-term moves in the dollar. U.S. US10YT=RR and British equivalents GB10YT=RR were also trading a touch above Wednesday's six-week lows. South Korea's Kospi also suffered a loss, giving back 0.4%. Still, he said, "the Washington, D.C., bedlam and North Korea's saber-rattling is muddying the broader landscape".

The Korean won KRW=KFTC also continued to skid, sliding 0.3 percent to 1,145 won to the dollar, after earlier sinking to its lowest level in a month. "Indeed, the biggest increases in the price of gold have occurred when the United States bombed Libya in 1986, in the wake of the Gulf War in 1990, and, more recently, when ISIS attacks put oil supplies in the Middle East at risk".

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US crude (CLc1) was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent (LCOc1) was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

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