Simmering North Korea tensions knock back Wall Street

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US indexes opened lower for the third straight day on Thursday as North Korea's threat to land a missile just short of the USA territory of Guam added fuel to simmering tensions with the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.31 points, or 0.07 per cent, to end at 21,858.32, the S&P 500 gained 3.11 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 2,441.32 and the Nasdaq Composite added 39.68 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 6,256.56.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a drop of 0.7 percent from the previous close.

On Thursday, in response to North Korea's threat to fire missiles at American targets in the Pacific, President Trump said that if Pyongyang "does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before - what will happen in North Korea".

But U.S. stocks regained some lost ground, despite Trump's comments Friday that U.S. weapons are "locked and loaded", ready to respond if North Korea acts "unwisely". Sony Corp. shares in Tokyo dropped 1.6 percent.

Bond prices were little changed. The UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.6 percent, while Germany's DAX Index retreated 1.1 percent and France's CAC 40 Index gave up 1.4 percent.

Investors on Thursday scampered to safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping the precious metal hit a more two-month high. The tension increased the selling pressure in the market.

Winners and Losers: Live-events company Live Nation saw its stock climb more than five percent Thursday on news that concert ticket sales jumped 22 percent from a year ago.

Trump expresses desire to 'de-nuke the world'
Both the secretary of defense and the secretary of state seem to be trying to cool down the rhetoric against North Korea . The new YouGov poll suggests that 68% of Americans see North Korea as an enemy . "You look what happened with Obama.

Despite the drop, analysts said the market seemed to be a bit sceptical that the North Korea situation would grow into a major crisis, noting that the losses were still not that deep.

Office Depot tumbled 22.4 percent after the office supplies retailer's quarterly results came in below estimates.

Nevsun Resources Ltd offset some of the material group's gains, plunging 16.4 percent to C$2.75 after the company reported disappointing quarterly results.

Japan's Topix index had the biggest slide in nearly three months, falling 1.3 per cent on trading volume 22 per cent higher than the 30-day average at the close.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.17% against the dollar to $1.2981 and fell 0.1% against the euro to 1.1051 euros.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

There had earlier been falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down.

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