Dollar slumps, Tokyo tanks as North Korea tensions spike

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Euro zone stocks and blue-chips also dropped 0.7 percent, while the miner-heavy FTSE underperformed and was down 0.8 percent.

"This inflation data for the month was not good".

Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session on Wednesday (Aug 9) as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors.

North Korea claimed "only absolute force" can work on someone as "bereft of reason" as Trump and detailed plans to fire a salvo of missiles into waters around the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Trump, whose threat this week to bring "fire and fury" was dismissed by North Korea, said Thursday that statement might not have been "tough enough". Stocks have retreated while assets perceived as havens, such as gold, the Japanese yen and USA government bonds, have strengthened. In the USA, the consumer price index and the Baker Hughes oil rig count are at 1330 BST and 1800 BST, respectively. Toyota Motor shares fell 1.6%, Honda Motor shares fell 1.2%, TDK Corp. shares lost 2% and Advantest Corp. shares were down 2.6%.

"Traders should closely watch global equities today, with further falls and risk aversion likely pumping more safe-haven flows into precious metals", said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 28.11 points, or 0.44 percent, at 6,411.88.

753 swine flu cases in Delhi
Sources said that the number of persons affected by dengue and swine flu is also increasing, reported news agency IANS.

However, other analysts were less bullish, saying geopolitical factors often weigh fleetingly on gold.

Yields on core government debt fell. The Nasdaq composite fell 35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,336.

The unpredictability of the isolationist rogue state of North Korea has significantly impacted gold.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract advanced 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU. US crude-oil inventories fell by 6.5 million barrels to 1.15 billion barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.

The New Zealand dollar was 0.79 lower against the greenback after New Zealand's central bank said it was slightly more uncomfortable with the high level of the local dollar than it had been in May.

Crude oil prices extended their slide as exports from key OPEC producers rose, despite news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Pyongyang it should stop any actions that would lead to the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people". While the major US indices were down as of midday Thursday, following overnight drops in the Asian and European markets, more granular metrics of risk assessment offered a more nuanced picture. Some of Canada's biggest banks were also influential decliners, but closed with only moderate losses. A wave of consolidation is expected in the telecom industry as cable companies seek additional ways to cut costs and grow with more USA consumers cutting their cords.