Finance

Flight-to-Safety Buying Drives Gold to a Two-month High

Flight-to-Safety Buying Drives Gold to a Two-month High

Gold prices held steady after touching their highest in more than two months on Friday, as rising tensions between the United States and North Korea triggered safe-haven buying.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.08% on Friday, Aug. 11, the S&P 500 gained 0.13%, and the Nasdaq added 0.64%.

Nervous investors drove shares lower earlier in the week, after President Trump declared Tuesday that the US would react with "fire and fury" to further nuclear provocations from North Korea.

"If earnings can stay strong and interest rates remain low investors can look beyond North Korea and continue to rally equities", Phipps said.

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months.

Nervous markets: Global markets are heading for a third consecutive day of losses amid growing tensions between North Korea and the U.S. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.48 percent lower.

A Reuters Datastream index of more than 7,000 stocks across the globe saw its market capitalisation drop from a record high $61.36 trillion on Monday to $60.43 trillion at the close on Thursday. "Although it is considered highly unlikely that this tension will escalate into a nuclear war, the market still needs to see how President Trump will eventually deal with his advocating "fire and fury" against North Korea's threat", said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

The yen tends to benefit during times of geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption that Japanese investors will repatriate funds should a crisis take place.

The dollar was up 0.05 percent to 109.25 yen, after earlier falling to a sixteen-week low following data showing USA consumer prices rose less than expected in July.

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And in a textbook-type cross-asset move toward safety in times of trouble, the Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the USA dollar while spot gold also reached a two-month high.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 1.01% to $17.034 while platinum futures rose by 0.36% to $990.15.

The local index is still up 13.2 percent for the year.

US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell to 2.2% and is approaching its lowest level of the year. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,287 per ounce by 2.17pm GMT, set for its biggest weekly gain since April.

USA crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 28 cents to $49.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories.


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