Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Global markets pressured by North Korea fears

Global markets pressured by North Korea fears

The pan-European STOXX 600 hit its lowest level since the end of March, down 1.1%.

"Geopolitics splashed cold water on the markets", said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. The hardest-hit currencies were those of New Zealand, South Korea, Brazil and India.

"When it comes to assessing political matters (especially global geopolitics like the North Korea matter), we are very humble", Mr Dalio wrote.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen are often sought in times of geopolitical tension or global financial stress, partly because both countries have big current account surpluses. U.S. US10YT=RR and British equivalents GB10YT=RR were also trading a touch above Wednesday's six-week lows.

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It had retreated to trade nearly flat on the day at 109.17 yen per dollar by 0711 GMT but was still 0.2 percent stronger against the euro at 128.28 yen. Wall Street is also digesting soft inflation data - a key metric the Fed tracks - with the producer price index falling 0.1% in July, its biggest decline in 11 months.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that US threats from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury", which prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans for a missile strike on the USA pacific territory of Guam.

Against the dollar, the franc surged 0.6 per cent to 0.9688 francs, reversing a two-week losing streak.

Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.16 percent, with 37,467 contracts changing hands at 8:40 a.m. ET (1240 GMT). The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped to its highest level since May.

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Holdings of the largest silver backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York's iShares Silver Trust SLV, stood at 10,530.59 tonne down 32.34 tonnes, from its last business day. It was down 0.1 percent at 109.07 yen JPY= , after retreating 0.8 percent on Thursday. Major European markets sank in early trade Thursday after the Dow recorded its second straight negative close Wednesday, although the dollar firmed against the pound and euro ahead of U.S. inflation data Friday. USA -traded Nikkei futures (NKc1) fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.

The 30-year bond last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8107 percent, from 2.818 percent late on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar, which rose to a 19-month high near 90 yen late in July, was down 0.6 per cent at 86.77 yen after slipping to a one-month low of 86.23 yen. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were all up, with the Dow Jones U.S. defense index up 1.48 percent at 409.58. On commodities markets, oil advanced with U.S. crude nearing $50 a barrel after figures from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed a sharp decrease in stockpiles, a clear indication of the easing supply glut.

U.S. crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

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