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Wall St stops stocks' bleeding, for now; gold, yen tick up

12 August 2017, 12:56 | Joann Bryant

European Shares Plummet

European Shares Plummet

North Korea said today it plans to fire four missiles near the United States territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, branding President Trump's warning that North Korean threats will be met with "fire and fury" as "a load of nonsense".

The headlines about North Korea served as a spark to jolt investors out of complacency on the heels of an extended period of calm in the market, said McClellan who shared the following chart in a report.

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

A Reuters Datastream index of more than 7,000 stocks across the globe saw its market capitalisation drop from a record high US$61.36 trillion on Monday to US$60.43 trillion at the close on Thursday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 143.08 points, or 0.94 percent, at 15,074.25.

"I do think I expect inflation to also start to move higher in the medium term but probably not get all the way back to 2-percent on a year-over-year basis, because, remember, we've had these very weak inflation readings for a number of month", Dudley said.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.2 percent in its third session of declines, heading for a 2.1 percent drop for the week.

SAFE HAVEN FLOW: The most traditional safe havens at times of mounting geopolitical unrest are the Swiss franc and the gold, and both were big movers on Wednesday.

There were falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down - taking their cues from sharp losses on Wall Street earlier.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 1.01% to $17.034 while platinum futures rose by 0.36% to $990.15.




Coupled with a continued simmering tension between the United States and North Korea, that trio of data led to another positive day for safe haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc (CHF).

The Dow slid as declines in Apple and Goldman Sachs, down 2.3% and 1.7% respectively, outweighed gains in McDonald's and Coca-Cola, up 1.4% and 0.5% respectively.

Subdued U.S. inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, which have weighed on the dollar.

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

On Thursday the greenback had shed 0.8 percent versus the yen, with the Japanese currency rallying broadly against most major currencies.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.36 percent to $1.1812. The yeild on the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell as low as 2.197 percent overnight, their lowest level since June 28.

After touching a more than two-month high, spot gold last added 0.1 percent to $1,287.18 an ounce. It was on course for a weekly rise of about 5%, the biggest such gain since July 2016.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile. Against the yen, the euro last traded at 128.29 yen, down 0.2 percent.

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