Markets slide, dollar slumps as North Korea fears spike

NEW YORK, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Stocks around the world fell sharply on Thursday and investors moved into the yen, gold and other safe-haven assets amid more aggressive talk between the United States and North Korea.

Guam which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea, is home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and a Coast Guard group, and an air base.

"Meanwhile, Trump knows that a conflict in North Korea could risk a huge amount of casualties and a huge humanitarian crisis on China's doorstep".

With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent.

Asian equity markets extended a global slide on Friday as tension ramped up between the United States and North Korea, sending investors fleeing to less risky assets such the yen and the Swiss franc.

Trump's threat earlier this week, to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it attacked, was ultimately dismissed as bluster by many investors.

The ten-year yield added to the 4.2 basis point loss posted on Wednesday, falling to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

But the yen added to an already-strong weekly rally of close to 1.5 percent, hitting its highest in nearly four months versus the dollar at 108.73 yen.

"Risk-off sentiment dominates Asian markets into the end of the week with President Donald Trump's words still sending shockwaves into the markets", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at online trader IG.

Are You Ready for the Next Total Solar Eclipse?
As such, don't be alarmed if you see your animal buddies behaving differently during the eclipse. From everything I've read it is worth the trip to travel and see the total eclipse.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent. A gauge of volatility on the S&P 500, the VIX hit its highest reading for over a month.

Gold prices were up almost 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-gains-about-1-as-us-north-korea-tensions-grow-2017-08-09) to $1,273.30 an ounce.

Computer hardware stocks rebounded following recent weakness, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.4 percent.

The euro slid 0.2 percent to 129.47 yen (EURJPY=), and gained 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.1761 (EUR=).

For now, the dollar remained on the back foot, pulling back 0.1% to Sf0.9635 on Friday, after dropping as much as 1.2% to a two-week low overnight.

Spot gold (XAU=) added 0.1 percent to $1,261.71 an ounce, pulling away from the previous session's two-week lows.

The dollar weakened after news that USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase.

"Both (PPI measures) were well below consensus and give us no hope that consumer price inflation is going to materially beat expectations", said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets. Crude futures extended losses on the fear of slowing demand and lingering concern over a global oversupply.

Amid the hot rhetoric, US stocks sold off sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent.

Latest News