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Stocks rally, but end a bit lower

12 Agosto 2017, 06:28 | Azura Castelo

Stocks rally, but end a bit lower

Preventing nuclear war is bigger than any political shenanigans

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. USA -traded Nikkei futures fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.71 cents USA, down 0.20 of a U.S. cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 was hit even harder, dropping 1.5 percent to close at 2,438.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.2 percent 6,216.87.

Remarks overnight from North Korea were that it was considering an attack on Guam (a US Pacific territory), with Trump firing back, threatening "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Asian equities fell on Thursday, retreating for a third consecutive session from their nearly 10-year intraday high touched on Tuesday, as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continued to temper risk appetite.

Gold rose to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from the uncertainty of escalating security tensions between North Korea and the US.

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

Wall Street closed sharply lower, with Dow Jones down over 200 points on Thursday.

US stocks closed lower on Tuesday after Trump's comments sparked a late afternoon selling.

"Geopolitics splashed cold water on the markets", said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

"U.S. markets had previously been becalmed amidst the Goldilocks scenario of strong profit growth, low interest rates and full valuations". "It's hard to tell whether this could trigger a stronger bout of risk aversion".

Despite today's jump, gold still sits well below its 52-week high of over $1,350 per ounce, which it reached last summer.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.79 yen from Tuesday's 110.34 yen.

"The yen is the big story really".

A weaker-than-expected July consumer price data also supported the recovery. Coca-Cola HBC's share price now stands 1.12 percent higher at 2,621.00p.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Fed's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment. The Japanese currency rallied broadly against most major currencies. Copper, the bellwether industrial metal, was set for its first weekly drop in five weeks. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Crude futures meanwhile extended losses on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over global oversupply.

J.C. Penney slumped 24.4 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Regions Financial shed 23 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.07. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $4.47, or 1 percent, to $474.15.



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