Korean crisis triggers shift from stocks to safe havens

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The stock exchanges in NY saw tiny losses at the end of trading on Tuesday, while Dow-Jones Index and S & P 500 earlier notched new records. But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.

Chinese stocks seemed little affected though, and Australian stocks rose Wednesday after a weaker Tuesday amid strong earnings reports from big banks.

The market was waiting for U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.1 percent to C$21.7, while Goldcorp Inc rose 0.9 percent to C$16.29.

FIRE AND FURY: Keeping up his tough talk, Trump told reporters that Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.

Tensions around the Korean Peninsula remain high after North Korea's recent missile tests followed by its provocative threat Wednesday to engulf a US territory in a barrage of missiles, a ranking South Korean official said.

"Too many past administrations have kicked the can down the road and we've finally come to the end of the road where North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them", he said. Prices for bonds and gold headed higher.

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On Friday, the dollar set an eight-week low against the yen, Australian stock futures slumped early and other Asian markets looked set to follow on the tensions between the United States and North Korea. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.3 percent to 6,352.33. The S&P 500 lost six points, or 0.24%, to close at 2,475 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13 points, or 0.21%, to 6,370.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption Japanese investors may repatriate their foreign holdings in times of heightened global uncertainty.

Among European markets, Britain's FTSE 100 fared the worst, down 1.10% as 80% of index members tumbled, led by the telecommunication sector.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 35 cents to $49.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Swiss franc eased against dollar about 0.1 percent to 0.9645 per dollar, having surged about 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

Investors opted for the perceived safety of US Treasuries, which pushed the yield on the 10-year note three basis points lower to 2.21 percent.

September silver SIU7, +1.35% also added 22.2 cents, or 1.3%, to $17.085 an ounce, also in territory last seen about two months ago.

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