Gold Hits Two-Month High on North Korea Tensions

Persistent gold buying by local jewellers at domestic spot market stoked uptrend

Persistent gold buying by local jewellers at domestic spot market stoked uptrend

But U.S. stocks regained some lost ground, despite Trump's comments Friday that U.S. weapons are "locked and loaded", ready to respond if North Korea acts "unwisely".

Amid broad based weakness on Wall Street, biotechnology stocks turned in some of the market's worst performances on the day.

The rhetoric, which began late Tuesday and continued into Friday, interrupted stocks' march higher and cracked the calm that has enveloped the market for months.

The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings.

The yen gained against the dollar and other peers on Wednesday on the latest bout of geopolitical tensions stemming from the Korean Peninsula.

"Both (PPI measures) were well below consensus and give us no hope that consumer price inflation is going to materially beat expectations", said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 per cent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 per cent.

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The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,319.71. It has been the leading S&P gainer so far this year, making it particularly vulnerable to a decline.

"It seems the U.S.is one step closer to engaging in military conflict with North Korea".

US stocks headed lower in early trading Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, as traders weighed the growing tensions between the USA and North Korea.

"As a portfolio manager, you say, 'Do I think we'll get a war out of this?'" said Torsten Slok, chief worldwide economist at Deutsche Bank, referring to the back and forth between North Korea and President Donald Trump.

North Korea responded with threats to launch missiles into the Pacific Ocean near Guam, a US territory.

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday. It's still the highest it's been since May. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

The dollar weakened after news that US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. The VIX rose further on Wednesday, rising as far as 12.11, its highest in nearly a month. The stock is up 54% so far this year. Perrigo rose $1.58, or 2.1 percent, to $78.43. Higher interest rates can help boost banks' revenue from loans.

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Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported another quarter of shrinking sales. The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.67 cents United States , down 0.04 of a USA cent.

Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the department store operator reported a wider than expected second quarter loss despite better than expected revenues. The stock lost 78 cents to $3.93.

Gold futures for December delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $1,278.50 an ounce at 9:02 a.m. on the Comex in NY.

Concluding with oil, WTI was last 1.0% down on the day, just above $48 a barrel, while Brent crude was 0.9% down, around $51.40 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet. Natural gas was also flat at $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet. Meanwhile, after jumping USD10.80 to USD1,290.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing USD6.50 to USD1,296.60 an ounce. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.

The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5% to about 109.70 per dollar. ANZ fell 1.9%, Commonwealth shed 0.7% and Westpac declined 1.3% after RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the central bank is prepared to be patient on rates for quite some time. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent.

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