Global stocks slump on profit-taking amid US-NKorea tensions

Global stocks slump on profit-taking amid US-NKorea tensions

Global stocks slump on profit-taking amid US-NKorea tensions

Traders' screens were in the red in Asia and Europe as investors fled to safe haven assets after US President Donald Trump doubled down on his North Korea rhetoric.

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

The so-called fear gauge - the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the most widely followed barometer of expected United States stock market volatility, hit its highest since November 8, when Mr Trump was elected president.

The price of gold rose on Thursday for the third straight day, reaching a two - month high as another exchange of threats by the United States and North Korea prompted investors to buy bullion as a safe - haven asset.

The U.S. North-Korea tensions add to investor angst that has helped push up gold more than 10 percent this year, even with equities hitting records and the Federal Reserve keen to shrink its balance sheet.

The Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak and gained 1.1 percent to as firm as 0.9611 per dollar.

Spot gold was almost flat at $1,285.76 per ounce at 0447 GMT and was set for a weekly gain of over 2 percent. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2 percent. USA -traded Nikkei futures fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.In currencies, the yen rose 0.8 percent versus the greenback at 109.2 per dollar, the strongest level for the Japanese currency since mid June."The yen is the big story really".

"A global stock market fund will have its fair share of value and growth companies, unlike -say- the FTSE 100 index which is predominately value-orientated with its bias towards energy, mining and financial, or the Japanese TOPIX which is growth-orientated with a predominance of consumer goods companies".

Among the gainers on the rising tensions over the Korean Peninsula, the yen is up 0.3 percent at 110 to the dollar while the Swiss franc has gained 0.6 percent. Ten-year US yields dropped 4.3 basis points to 2.24 percent and German equivalents fell 3 bps to 0.43 percent, a six-week low.

US Treasury long-dated yields dropped to six-week lows, pressured by US-North Korea tensions and the weak data that further reduced expectations of an interest rate hike in December. Gold is now trading at $1386 per troy ounce.

About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,374.23.

Department store operator J.C. Penney (JCP) is also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Friday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London. The euro rose to $1.1824 from $1.1774.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.2255 per cent, from 2.242 per cent late on Wednesday.