Stocks veer higher into record territory; oil heads lower

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Jones Industrial Average

North Korea had responded to Trump's previous promise to unleash "fire and fury" with a threat to land missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

While the Nasdaq climbed 39.68 points or 0.6% to 6,256.56, the Dow inched up 14.31 points or 0.1% to 21,858.32 and the S&P 500 edged up 3.11 points or 0.1% to 2,441.32.

ASIA'S DAY: Earlier, Asia bore the brunt of the mounting geopolitical uncertainty, with South Korea's Kospi index closing down 1.7 percent at 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ending 2 percent lower at 26,883.51.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said. It's also called the "fear index".

USA equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough. The S&P 500 and Dow were both coming off record highs. Germany's DAX fared better, trading only 0.2 percent lower at 11,989.

Vietnam shares fell 2.3 per cent, their most in nine months, dragged down by financials and consumer staples. Should they start re-allocating, we believe a big move in global gold prices will inevitably ensue.

In the United Kingdom, the stock of TV giant ITV was down 1.9 percent in early trading, and Sky shares were down 0.5 percent, while Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 fell 1.2 percent.

"Gold, of course, is already a core asset class for central banks, the super-rich and what are classified as 'the global poor.' Should the North Korea situation develop it may just prove to be the catalyst to push the institutional world to commit flows back to this asset class on a sustained basis".

After touching a more than two-month high at $1,291.86, spot gold last added 0.2 percent to $1,288.81 an ounce.

Snap's earnings missed forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-ceos-promise-cant-overcome-declining-ad-rates-stock-heads-toward-new-lows-after-earnings-2017-08-10) Thursday, and the social-messaging company disclosed that average ad prices fell in the second quarter.

"Risk assets remain out of favour, as the threat of a conflict with North Korea pushes traders towards havens", said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

US crude rose 0.41 percent to $48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent. Natural gas gained 2 cents to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The U.S. Treasury market rallied, with the benchmark 10-year yield shedding 3 bps to 2.21%. Rival Advanced Micro Devices was also down 2.6 percent.

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. Crude briefly pared losses in late trading after USA inventories fell more than expected last week.

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