World markets slide for third day on political tension

World markets slide for third day on political tension

The market's main safe-haven, gold, hit a two-month high of $1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness. India's Sensex shed 0.5 percent to 31,846.73 and benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.

The hope that the Fed will have to slow its rate increases appeared to stop, at least for now, the near US$1 trillion loss in world stocks valuations this week triggered by the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington.

Markets had earlier stabilised as USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson tried to ease the tensions, saying he did not believe there is "any imminent threat" to Guam and that diplomacy would prevail.

Missile makers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have outperformed Wall Street by nearly 4 percent in recent days and the Dow Jones U.S. defence index is at a record high and on a seven-day unbroken run of gains.

The price of gold climbed to the highest levels in two months on Thursday as the United States and North Korea exchanged more threats, prompting investors to buy bullion as a safe haven asset.

"That's what usually happens when there is a great concern over geopolitical issues with North Korea", said Kim Ye Eun, a stock analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

The reclusive state raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam. The Dow is up 34.62 points or 0.2% at 21,878.63, the Nasdaq is up 25.62 points or 0.4% at 6,242.49 and the S&P 500 is up 4.36 points or 0.2% at 2,442.57.

Stocks in Europe followed their US and Asian counterparts lower on Friday, as heated rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean regime has sent equity markets falling globally since Wednesday.

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"I'll tell you why, and they should be very nervous".

North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a US -held Pacific island, after President Trump's warning on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,275.57 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent at 27,757.09.

Gold got an extra boost after data showed United States consumer prices rose less than expected in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.20 percent.

"Tensions are high. Markets have taken a little notice", said Greg McKenna, an analyst at AxiTrader.

It was not only the threat of conflict with nuclear-ambitious North Korea.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 30 cents at $53.00 a barrel and US crude was up 22 cents at $49.78. The hardest-hit currencies were those of New Zealand, South Korea, Brazil and India. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 40 cents to $52.54 in London.

The franc jumped 1.4 per cent to 0.9611 francs per euro in early trades.

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