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12 August 2017, 11:41 | Austin Hogan
Financial markets rattled by sharp increase in tensions over North Korea
The market's main safe-haven, gold, hit a two-month high of $1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness. In Japan, the Nikkei closed in the red ahead of Friday's national holiday, dropping 0.1%. In bond markets, 10-year US Treasuries and Germany's ultra-safe government bonds were trading at their highest prices since June.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading below fair value, as the tensions between the US and North Korea amplify.
The US military's options are "locked and loaded", Trump said on Friday in a warning to North Korea if it chose to "act unwisely".
The reclusive state raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam. For the week, the London index fell 2.7%, the biggest loss since the week ended April 21.
Global markets have been on edge since Tuesday, when President Donald Trump warned North Korea of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats.
European stocks also fell sharply Friday, leaving the Stoxx Europe 600 with its worst weekly decline since November, just before the USA presidential election was held.
He said the crisis provided a "perfect trigger" for a correction at a time when many markets - including the FTSE 100 - were at or around record highs, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off if investors think it is time to take profits. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 1.1 percent to 27,444.00.
Gold prices continued to climb on Friday, as geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea kept safe-haven demand elevated while data showing July inflation undershot expectations, lessened the prospect of a rate hike this year.
"The market hates uncertainty and that's certainly what we have now", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. But Michael said the overall market was still expected to saw-tooth its way higher due in part to a batch of better-than-expected earnings and low interest rates, despite the shift toward raising rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 36.64 points, or 0.17 per cent, to end at 22,048.7, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 per cent, to 2,474.02 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 18.13 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 6,352.33. "Indeed, the biggest increases in the price of gold have occurred when the U.S. bombed Libya in 1986, in the wake of the Gulf War in 1990, and, more recently, when ISIS attacks put oil supplies in the Middle East at risk".
USA crude rose 0.43 percent to $48.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent on the day.
Gold at 2-mth high on US-Nth Korea tension
In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 dropped nearly 0.7 per cent to 5,081.92 points compared with the closing level on Thursday. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.
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Avis Budget Group slumped 9.9 percent after the vehicle rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter. Investors instead turned to safe-haven assets such as gold , pushing it to a two-month high, and the Japanese yen rose.