Gold climbs amid US-North Korean 'sabre-rattling'

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

US stocks closed lower for the third day in a row Thursday, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the a year ago.

Geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on Wall Street amid an ongoing escalation in tensions between the US and North Korea.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 22,048.7, the S&P 500 lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.13 points, or 0.28 percent, to 6,352.33. The Nasdaq composite lost 39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,331.

Dow e-minis were down 54 points, or 0.25 percent, with 25,272 contracts changing hands.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 percent. Hong Kong slumped 2.04 per cent, Shanghai slipped 1.63 per cent, Korea shed 1.69 per cent, Jakarta fell 1.03 per cent. Singapore shares also ended in negative territory as increasingly bellicose talk between the United States and North Korea prompted investors to take money off the table, while traders trimmed positions ahead of the weekend.

For the week, the index was on course to fall 2.7% and that would mark the worst week since early November 2016 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-face-worst-week-in-9-months-rattled-by-political-risk-2016-11-04), just before the US presidential election.

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Korea's Kospi dropped 1.7%, cementing a weekly loss of 3.2%.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday.

The dollar was further weighed Friday by the soft US inflation data.

Many world stock markets have hit record or multi-year highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a selloff, and the tensions over North Korea have proved to be the trigger.

The December gold contract was up US$12.40 to US$1,285.40 an ounce.

Revenues in the first six months of the year rose 5.6% to 3.21bn euros (£2.9bn), helped by June's hot weather, and operating profits jumped almost 21% to 266.4m euros. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.

Trading volume also picked up in the late afternoon of what had been a sleepy summer session while the U.S. Congress is expected to be in recess until Sept 5.

US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752.

Other reports by GizPress

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