Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Flight-to-Safety Buying Drives Gold to a Two-month High

Flight-to-Safety Buying Drives Gold to a Two-month High

But although USA equities on Wednesday managed to close only slightly down even after Trump's warning that "fire and fury" would rain on North Korea, on Thursday the chickens came home to roost on Wall Street.

The Nikkei slumped to its lowest close for nearly three months yesterday, leading an Asia-wide sell-off sparked by President Donald Trump's apocalyptic warning over North Korea's weapons programme.

Sydney was a rare bright spot in Asia-Pacific with stocks closing 0.4 per cent up as Australia's biggest bank posted record annual profits.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 143.08 points, or 0.94 percent, at 15,074.25. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 204.69 points to 21,844.01, just shy of its low point for the day.

"There's not a fundamental reason why what we're seeing out of North Korea right now should affect stock market prices, but it's being used as the reason to sell off right now because we've been looking for it for so long", Schiegoleit said.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content. The move added to escalating U.S.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 percent to an 11-1/2-week low, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 percent. Nvidia fell $4.73, or 2.7 percent, to $167.38.

The Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak, rising rose 1.12 per cent versus the greenback at 0.96 per dollar.

RETAIL SLUMP: Disappointing quarterly results from big department store chains put investors in a selling mood.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.47-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

UNDERCOOKED: Blue Apron slumped 17.1 percent after the meal kit seller reported a sequential decline in customers in the second quarter due to a planned reduction in marketing.

Hope that the Fed will have to slow its rate hike path appeared to stop, at least for now, the near $1-trillion loss in world stocks valuations this week triggered by the war of words between Pyongyang and the United States.

The Korean won also continued to skid, down 0.45 percent to 1,147.2, falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time in a month. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped less than 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.1 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 26 cents to $52.96.

Gold rose $16.70, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $1,279.30 an ounce.

Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission released last week showed that currency speculators still held a large net short position in the yen during the week ended August 1, although somewhat smaller than the levels seen a couple of weeks earlier, when their bearish bets against the yen grew to the largest since January 2014. Two weeks ago it saw its biggest weakly fall against the euro since the start of 2015.

USA crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.

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