Finance

TSX closes 143 points lower, gold rises amid US-North Korean tensions

TSX closes 143 points lower, gold rises amid US-North Korean tensions

The broad-based S&P 500 was hit even harder, dropping 1.5 per cent to close at 2,438.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.2 per cent 6,216.87.

The euro, which hit its highest since the start of 2015 on August 2, dipped 0.1 percent to $1.1761 in morning trade in Europe. Trading was thinner than usual, with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday. US gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce. "That reset is being triggered by North Korea geopolitical concern and stretched valuations", said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group in NY. That takes losses for the KOSPI index to around 3% this week, with South Korean stocks now well off the record highs they reached in late July.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.3 percent, taking its losses this week to almost 2.7 percent.

It stood 0.16 percent down on the day at 109.03 yen per dollar by 1047 GMT.

Tensions spiked yet further when North Korean state media later said Pyongyang was considering strikes near USA military installations in Guam.

Trump's second warning, however, has shaken markets that have been largely resilient this year, swatting away a slew of risks. The index closed at 16.04 overnight, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 1% in afternoon trade, while futures signaled the S&P 500 would open down 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average would open 0.1% lower.

While European stocks have seen robust inflows in the wake of the French elections, their performance have lagged their USA rivals since mid June.

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The MSCI World index slipped 0.1 percent, extending Thursday's 1.1 percent drop, its biggest one-day slide since May 17, as U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2%. "I'm looking selectively at the pullbacks, but my gut is that we could be in for a bumpy ride for the next couple of months or so".

Subdued U.S. inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, which have weighed on the dollar. After breaking through 10,000 for the first time last Friday, the index has undergone a small correction with falls of 2.47% so far this week.

It was 0.2 percent lower at 1.1310 francs, compared with highs of 1.1537 francs hit a week ago.

Later on Friday, investors will look to U.S. July consumer price data for hints on the Federal Reserve's policy outlook and near-term moves in the dollar.

The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 percent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August a year ago. They soared over 2 percent in the previous two sessions, and are set for a weekly gain of 2.2 percent.

Crude oil prices fell on Thursday, on concerns of lingering global oversupply as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and OPEC boosted its July production numbers. Palladium added 0.4% to $899.80 per ounce and was on track to end the week about 2% higher.

Global benchmark Brent also fell 0.9 percent to $51.44, after Thursday's 1.5 percent drop.