North Korea tensions send U.S. dollar to eight-week low vs yen

Tweet threat President Trump Pic Reuters

Tweet threat President Trump Pic Reuters

Stock markets nosedived as investors continued moving into gold amid escalating political tensions between the United States and North Korea. Interestingly though, it soon after managed to more than make up for its losses relative to the Japanese and British currencies, while it recovered a significant portion of its losses versus the euro as well. It is set for a weekly gain of 2.4 percent.

"There aren't many players in the market, nor is there much incentive [for prices] to move right now, so I think it's going to be very quiet for the rest of the month", he commented.

"Traders should closely watch global equities today, with further falls and risk aversion likely pumping more safe-haven flows into precious metals", said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The heavyweight financials sector, which accounts for more than a third of the index's weight, was down 0.25 percent as US and Canadian bond yields fell.

Wall Street stocks dropped early Thursday after North Korea announced a plan to send missiles towards Guam, raising the stakes of a nuclear standoff with the United States.

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Still, he said the United States is edging closer to war with Kim because of his nuclear provocations. "But we are closer to war than we were a decade ago".

USA stock futures were 0.1 percent lower on Friday.

The dollar extended losses against the yen to hit a new two-month low.

Platinum climbed 0.2 percent to $978.00 per ounce after touching $984.60 during the session, its highest since April 18.

Weaker U.S. Treasury yields also helped the yen, boosting its appeal relative to the greenback. It was down 0.2 percent at 108.96 yen, after retreating 0.7 percent on Thursday. The Swiss franc, another safe-haven, failed to maintain momentum from earlier days, losing ground relative to the euro and was last broadly flat versus the dollar after dollar/franc fell to a fresh two-week low 0.9582 earlier in the day. The kiwi was 0.79 per cent lower against the greenback after New Zealand's central bank said it was slightly more uncomfortable with the high level of the local dollar than it had been in May.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.1 percent to C$21.7, while Goldcorp Inc rose 0.9 percent to C$16.29.

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They were down 0.7 percent at $48.24 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.7 percent. They plunged 2 percent on Thursday on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over a global oversupply.

Insurers and banks, which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds, underperformed after U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, with the yields on the benchmark 10-year note hitting a six-week low.

Canada-listed shares of Tahoe Resources Inc fell 1.8 percent to C$6.48 after the miner said it would stop paying dividends and suspended overall guidance amid uncertainty about its operations in Guatemala.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 per cent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August past year.

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