Gold buoyed by North Korea tensions, USA inflation data

Daily December Comex Gold

While stocks have declined this week, the sell-off has not been dramatic.

The S&P 500 index dropped 35.81 points to 2,438.21, while the Nasdaq composite index slid 135.46 points to 6,216.87.

The kiwi came off a three-week low immediately upon the release of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand monetary policy statement. The S&P 500 is up 9 percent, while the Dow is up 10.6 percent.

The strength on Wall Street was partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions.

Also underpinning a move higher in the precious metal, was data showing a continued slowdown in the pace of inflation as consumer prices rose less than expected in July.

Markets are now focused on US consumer price data for July, due later in the session.

A Labor Department report showed its producer price index posted a surprise drop in July, down 0.1% for the largest slide in nearly a year.

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Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still crept up by 0.1% in July, matching the increases seen in the three previous months. Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the U.S.is the first mover.

Earlier in the week, Trump said the USA would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S.

"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said.

Both the Swiss franc and the yen have climbed against the dollar this week, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

On Friday, the president appeared to double down on his earlier threat, warning on Twitter that military solutions are in place and "locked and loaded".

Trump took specific aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday, saying, he had "disrespected our country greatly", and would not be "getting away with it".

North Korea has since threatened to launch missiles at the USA territory of Guam, and the country previously threatened "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland".

Global stocks slide as US-North Korea nuclear tensions rise
As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2 basis points at 2.192%. London's FTSE 100 was almost 1% down during morning trading with share indices in Germany, France and Italy also in the red.

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

Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower.

Data storage company Seagate Technology (STX) posted a standout gain within the hardware sector, jumping by 2.4%.

Copper traded at $2.912, down 0.25%, while natural gas tacked on 0.23% to $2.991. Autodesk (ADSK) and Red Hat (RHT) posted notable gains.

Markets in Italy, France and Germany also saw declines.

European equity markets continued to lose ground on Thursday which provided further net support to gold, especially with bond yields tending to drift lower.

US stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

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