Global shares mostly lower on rising unease over North Korea

Global shares mostly lower on rising unease over North Korea

The decline in equity markets and a dip in USA bond yields triggered fresh demand for precious metals and gold pushed to fresh 2-month highs around $1,288.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 percent to a 9 1/2-week low, taking its losses this week to almost 2.7 percent.

The Vix, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped to its highest level since May after North Korea revealed a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward a major USA military hub in the Pacific.

But although US 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 market was waiting f or USA consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions.

Trump took specific aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday, saying he had "disrespected our country greatly" and would not be "getting away with it". Monthly, the same figure fell 0.5% coming in well below expectations of a 0.3% gain. It was at its highest level in more than seven months.

The CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX and the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose the most in about 12 weeks. "Risk aversion is still very much a concern for markets". The index closed at 16.04 overnight, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content.

Precious metals miners were among a smattering of United Kingdom stocks enjoying a stronger session as investors set course for safe havens.

Global shares mostly lower on rising unease over North Korea
Global shares mostly lower on rising unease over North Korea

Traders took heart in a measure of USA consumer prices that increased only slightly in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year. The euro touched a one-month low of 128.19 yen earlier on Friday.

Coupled with a continued simmering tension between the U.S. 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).

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 percent to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 percent.

THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and USA indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days".

Dudley also cautioned that "it's going to take some time" for inflation to rise to the central bank's 2 percent target even as he offered a generally positive outlook for the USA economy, job market and price pressures.

They were down 0.7 percent at $48.24 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.7 percent. "I think before the end of the year the market goes to new highs and (Treasury) yields go higher". TripAdvisor shares shed $1.75, or 4.4 percent, to $37.80.

DPRK must stand down pursuit of nuclear weapons: U.S. defense chief
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday played down the threat from the DPRK, telling Americans to "sleep well at night". Speaking to reporters in New Jersey, the President said: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States".

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