Shares slip, yen and gold gain as Korea tensions escalate

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Gold hit the highest levels in two months on Thursday as the United States and North Korea exchanged more threats

Equities slid and the Swiss franc and some developed-market government bonds advanced as President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" following a series of missile tests by the communist regime, boosting demand for haven assets.

The latest sell-off was the most severe yet, amounting to the biggest single-day drop for the stock market in almost three months.

Gains among technology companies helped snap a three-day losing streak for US stocks Friday, though the market ended with its worst weekly loss since March.

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.

Technology companies, which suffered the brunt of the selling a day earlier, were back in the lead Friday.

North Korea responded to the threat with a promise to land missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

"We call on the relevant parties to be cautious with their words and actions, and contribute more toward easing tensions and enhancing mutual trust", Geng said.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 1.01% to $17.034 while platinum futures rose by 0.36% to $990.15.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the sell-off, losing 135.46 points, or 2.1 percent, to 6,216.87.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3007, up 0.25 per cent on the day.

In bond markets, the yield on US Treasuries fell, also pressured by the lowered expectations for a Fed move. All the indexes are down for the week.

The South Korean stock market and the Korean won are likely to be most vulnerable to declines in response to rising worldwide investor concerns that military tensions are escalating further. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1 percent. The stock slid $9.41, or 5.7 percent, to $155.33. They have soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and are set for a weekly gain of 2.25 percent. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday. Other regional East Asian financial markets would also be vulnerable, particularly Japanese financial markets, with risks of disruption to Northeast Asian regional trade and investment flows and manufacturing supply chains. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent. It rose $15.70, or 1.2 percent, to $1,277.80 an ounce. The benchmark Kospi tumbled 39.76 points or 1.7% to 2,319.71, its lowest level since May 24th.

US gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce.

In commodities trading, USA crude oil was wallowing around $49 to the barrel amid speculation that a predicted gain in American output will offset OPEC-led efforts to trim a global glut.

The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5% to about 109.70 per dollar.

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