N. Korea tensions rattle stock markets

Cuban missile crisis

Cuban missile crisis

His order, reported in state media, came hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang not to "make any more threats" to the U.S., saying it would face a "fire and fury" response "like the world has never seen".

Trump's comment pushed Wall Street lower, with only utilities making gains, and drove the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility on the S&P 500 to its highest in nearly a month.

The price of gold rose on Thursday for the third straight day, reaching a two - month high as another exchange of threats by the United States and North Korea prompted investors to buy bullion as a safe - haven asset. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi Index slumped by 1.7 percent.

Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base. Gold gained 0.54 percent to $1,266 an ounce, but that is only its highest in less than a week.

US stock index futures fell, with the S&P 500 indicated to open down 0.4 percent after share prices fell in Europe and Asia. USA -traded Nikkei futures fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.In currencies, the yen rose 0.8 percent versus the greenback at 109.2 per dollar, the strongest level for the Japanese currency since mid June."The yen is the big story really".

Escalating tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions sent a shiver through markets worldwide and pushed the dollar to below 109.7 yen in afternoon forex trade to an eight-week low against the safe haven currency, piling more pressure on Japanese stocks.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 per cent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 per cent.

United States equities had been on track for a 10th-straight record session Tuesday and the dollar was initially up after the JOLTS survey showed job openings hit a record in the U.S. last month.

The broader Topix shed 0.65 point to 1,617.25, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 8.16 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 14,367.56.

The Swiss franc USDCHF, -0.8829% bought $1.0382 on Wednesday, representing a 1.2% rise from $1.0266 late Tuesday in NY.

Priceline Group slid 6.9 percent after the online travel booking service issued a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.255 percent from its U.S. close of 2.282 percent on Tuesday. Major indexes in Asia closed lower.

Department store operator J.C. Penney (JCP) is also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.826 compared to yesterday's $1.1772. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10.

US crude oil futures settled almost 2 per cent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers.

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