Gold offers refuge from US-North Korea tensions

Gold producers on the FTSE 100 have risen this morning following Donald Trump's aggressive rhetoric towards North Korea

Gold producers on the FTSE 100 have risen this morning following Donald Trump's aggressive rhetoric towards North Korea

-North Korean sabre rattling.

"If he does something in Guam, it will be something the likes of which have never happened before in North Korea", he said, declaring his remarks "not a dare" but a statement and also warning against threats to USA allies Japan and South Korea. US -traded Nikkei futures NKc1 fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 1.4 per cent to 2,438.21.

Dai-ichi Life Holdings dropped 1 percent, T&D Holdings fell 2.2 percent while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 0.9 percent.

In Hong Kong, shares ended lower, but developers provided support. Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.9 per cent to 3,201.45.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto retreated 2-3 percent while gold miners Evolution and Newcrest rose about 2 percent each. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 per cent to 5,693.10. The NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.28% and closed the day at 6,352.33.

In oil, the price of Brent crude sunk by 0.5% to 51.65 U.S. dollars a barrel amid concerns about over supply in the market.

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About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days.

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.

The market will takes its cue from today's EIA report (10:30 am EDT) to see whether it confirms the yesterday's API release.

Adding to the modest losses posted in the two previous sessions, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday.

Stock markets took the brunt of risk-averse trading on Wednesday after an overnight escalation of tensions between the USA and North Korea forced investors into haven assets such as gold, Treasuries and the Swiss franc. The Swissie also edged higher against the Euro, recording one of the largest single day rises since the January 2015 removal of the "peg" placed by the Swiss National Bank.

Rising geopolitical tensions were heightened further when U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang it should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks about attacking the United States or its allies, after Pyongyang said it was making plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

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In the U.K, issuance of new Gilts is scheduled to resume August 23.

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.

The medium-term outlook depends on the BoE - Governor Carney and company is expected to find it hard to hike policy rate given the downside risks to growth.

Benchmark indexes in India, Indonesia and Malaysia were down between half a percent and 1.2 percent while the Taiwan Weighted recouped early losses to end on a flat note. Spot gold reached a two-month high. The rand rallied Monday given expectations that Zuma's eight-year term will be voted out in a secret ballot.

News that USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July earlier helped send the dollar lower.

Separately, industry data showed that New Zealand's house prices increased in July from a year ago, while the volume of sales plunged. Yields on bonds move inversely to their price. On a month-on-month basis, the PPI rose +0.2% last month, after three months in the red.

No dialogue with North Korea will bring us down a destructive path
He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea . Calvo responded by saying he feels safe and confident with Trump's leadership: "I'm glad you're holding the helm, sir".

In the economic calendar on Friday, France's consumer price index is at 0745 BST.

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