Investors seek safety as N. Korea tension escalates; stocks off, gold up

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.93% lower at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 1.45% to 2,438.21, and the Nasdaq 100 was 2.22% softer at 5,788.19.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed down 1.1 per cent at 2,368.39 points, lowest closing level since June 21.

Copper lost 0.39 per cent to US$6,455.00 a tonne.

Stock markets in Europe are still under pressure because of the heightened tensions surrounding North Korea.

In information released on Wednesday, US crude inventories fell for the sixth consecutive week according to the Energy Information Adminstration by 6.45 million barrels for the week ending August 4.

Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as investors find little to like in the latest batch of corporate earnings.

But while most traders appeared to favor safe-haven assets, bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare the day's earlier losses.

South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) strongly urged North Korea on Thursday to immediately stop provocations and return to the dialogue table, saying dialogue was still possible should the communist state decide to cooperate.

While European stocks.STOXXE have seen robust inflows in the wake of the French elections, their performance have lagged their USA rivals since mid June.

More news: What's Next For Congress: Tax Reform, Debt Ceiling Debate

Hong Kong was down more than one per cent. Shanghai and Seoul were also down. Bank of New York Mellon slid 3.9 percent, while Citizens Financial Group shed 3.8 percent.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.89 percent. Netflix fell 2.4 percent.

Winners and Losers: Ralph Lauren Corp. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. reported earnings that beat investors' expectations, sending shares in both to soar 13 percent and 22 percent. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 2.226 percent. Gold (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-trades-at-2-mo-high-as-north-korea-tension-boosts-haven-investments-over-stocks-2017-08-10) jumped 0.9% to $1,290.50 an ounce, trading at a roughly two-month high.

United States crude rose 0.69 per cent to US$49.51 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.66, up 1 per cent on the day.

On Tuesday, stronger-than-expected USA jobs data from the Labor Department weighed on gold, dragging prices to the lowest since July 26 at $1,251.01 an ounce. Silver also rose, gaining 43 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $16.82 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. The euro slid to $1.1752 from $1.1793.

The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.

Separately, U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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