Stocks, dollar extend slide as US-North Korea tensions intensify

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Late in the session, U.S. President Donald Trump said perhaps his threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough".

Meanwhile, gold demand in India remained sluggish this week as local prices jumped to their highest level in almost three months and a rally in global prices dampened fresh buying elsewhere in Asia.

The Swiss franc, the other traditional safety-play among currencies, has benefited too. "I think before the end of the year the market goes to new highs and (Treasury) yields go higher".

"The market's dent only lasted for a week in April when tension rose between them after North Korea launched a missile. What we're seeing today is political tensions over North Korea and the United States. making people nervous", said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in NY. "But with the rhetoric having gone to a different level, the market just can't afford to take that risk".

Many world stock markets have hit record or multi-year highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off, and the tensions have proved the trigger.

More than 430 stocks from all US exchanges hit their lowest levels in 52 weeks or more on Thursday, the most for any session since mid-November right after Trump was elected.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index excluding Japan lost 1.6 percent to 155.61 as of 4:57 p.m.in Hong Kong, set for its longest losing streak since July 4, as five stocks declined for each one that advanced.

He did not elaborate on Russia's joint plan with China, though the pair's position on North Korea has long consisted of formally voicing opposition to North Korea's nuclear ambitions but also to USA military support for its allies in the region.

"Of course, it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction, so North Korea has provided a ideal trigger". "Pretty remarkable, perhaps even extraordinary, considering", said Tim Ash, strategist at fund manager BlueBay.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX - Free Report) stock popped 1.42%, while Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM - Free Report) gained 1.01%.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.2 percent, hinting at weakness on Wall Street later in the day.

Russian Federation responded directly to the mounting war of words between the USA and North Korea Friday, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that the wiser and stronger will make the first move to deescalate tensions.

Spot gold (XAU=) added 0.7 percent to $1,286.00 an ounce. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 2.1 percent to 6,216.87.

USA crude was down 0.9 percent at $48.16 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.9 percent.

The Taiwan dollar on Thursday fell 0.3 percent, putting it on track for its worst day in more than three weeks. These mark a bucking against the 1.3% fall in Australia's benchmark index.

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