Markets extend losses as Korea tensions escalate

Markets extend losses as Korea tensions escalate

Global markets have lost almost US$1 trillion since U.S. president Donald Trump said on Tuesday that North Korea "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" and then dialed up his warning further on Thursday by saying he wasn't tough enough this week.

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

The dollar index.DXY, which tracks the greenback against six rival currencies, was down 0.17 percent to 93.391. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.3 percent to 6,352.33.

Thin liquidity could also amplify market moves, she added, with markets in Singapore closed for a public holiday, and many market participants in Japan taking time off this week ahead of a public holiday on Friday.

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With President Donald Trump warning North Korea of "fire and fury", investors have become concerned that the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang could spiral out of control.

"We've had such a period of low volatility in the markets, coupled that with high valuation, it only takes a bit of a wobble to cause a reaction like we've seen", Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, told Reuters.

Geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea has led to a break of key resistance line for the gold price.

"Tensions are still high and not going away at the moment. We see many of our new enquiries and clients using the opportunity to protect themselves against an uncertain future, especially given the unpredictability of both President Trump and Kim Jong-Un".

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Sterling touched a three-week low against the dollar as mixed output and trade data did little to alter investors' downbeat view of an economy struggling to meet Bank of England targets. The dollar was down 1.2 percent at 0.9627 Swiss francs, while an ounce of gold was 1 percent higher at $1,275. "The North Korea situation is still unstable and investors are controlling risk and taking profit after recent gains", said Sam Chi Yung, a Hong Kong-based strategist at South China Financial Holdings. Last month, Pyongyang test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles, prompting new United Nations sanctions against the country.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.97 yen from 110.06 late Wednesday in Asia.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis. The yield - or interest rate - on a benchmark 10-year US Treasury bill dropped to 2.24%, while a 10-year German bund was yielding 0.43%.

Korea's Samsung Electronics fell 2.8% Friday.

CNN's Zakaria: Trump North Korea Threats 'The Art of the Bluff'
MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Morale at the State Department was already in the dumps before this comment from President Trump. Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe North Korea is capable of launching a missile that could hit the mainland.

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