Stocks, dollar extend slide as US-North Korea tensions intensify

Corporate Earnings Chart August 9

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Traditional safe-haven currencies including the Swiss franc and Japanese yen rose on Wednesday, boosted by worries about increased tensions between the United States and North Korea. The pan-European STOXX 600 hit its lowest level since the end of March, down 1.1%.

U.S. producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

"But looking ahead unless we start to see a conflict break out or a major stock market correction, (gold) is capped at 1,295 (although) the upside at moment is the favoured direction".

The dollar last changed hands at 108.96 yen, down 0.2 percent.

At noon, the dollar fetched 109.88-89 yen compared with 110.26-36 yen in NY and 110.58-60 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Swiss franc, by contrast, was on track for its biggest single-day rise against the euro in more than 2 1/2 years.

Stocks fall as tensions with North Korea escalate
The local currency was trading at 1,137.90 won against the United States dollar, down 2.70 won from the previous session's close. The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 34.8 per cent, the biggest increase since May.

"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction so North Korea has provided a flawless trigger".

The dollar index fell 0.39 percent, with the euro up 0.48 percent to $1.1827.

The ongoing political crisis that has seen North Korea state it was seeking to strike the US Pacific island territory of Guam within days, prompted gold speculator Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter to say he believed gold was on the cusp on a significant break out.

The initial reaction to President Trump's bellicose statement about unleashing "fire and fury like the world has never seen" against North Korea was subdued on Tuesday afternoon.

There is good news, however, as the U.S. Dollar index added 0.12 percent to 93.41.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retreated 2-3%, while gold miners Evolution and Newcrest rose about 2% each.

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ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent to 19,738.71 and Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent to 2,368.39. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index fell around 1.2% each to finish at 5,693.10 and 5,743.50, respectively.

"While not necessary unexpected - as the U.S. had to respond to threats made by North Korea that they will fire rockets due to land just off the coast of Guam soon - new comments by Trump propelled stocks lower".

RETAIL SLUMP: Disappointing quarterly results from big department store chains put investors in a selling mood.

FLOUNDERING: SeaWorld Entertainment slid 4.3% to $13.02 after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The 30-year bond last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.7847 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday.

Shares of Kura Oncology (KURA) are moving higher in pre-market trading after the biopharmaceutical company priced a public offering of 7.7 million shares of its common stock at USD6.50 per share.

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