Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Gold buoyed by North Korea tensions, United States inflation data

Federal Hall's George Washington statue stands near the Federal Hall's George Washington statue stands near the flag-covered pillars of the NYSE
Preston Stone | 13 August, 2017, 14:16

Asked how Moscow would act in case of a military conflict between the US and the North, Lavrov answered it would do everything it could to prevent the worst-case scenario.

Russian Federation responded directly to the mounting war of words between the USA and North Korea Friday, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that the wiser and stronger will make the first move to deescalate tensions.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday but the yen powered on, hitting an eight-week high of 108.91 yen to the dollar, adding to its biggest weekly gain since May.

In the latest developments between the two countries' war of words, President Donald Trump issued another set of statements on Thursday, saying that his warning of bringing "fire and fury" to North Korea - if it continues its threats - may not have been "tough enough".

The Korean won also continued to fall, down 0.45 percent to 1,147.2.

USA gold futures gained 0.2% to $1,292.70.

"For quite some time the market hasn't really reacted to things on the Korean Peninsula because we know from the past it is largely North Korean sabre-rattling, and it may yet be".

The benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled more than 1 percent on Thursday, only the third time this year it has fallen that much, while the Nasdaq shed more than 2 percent.

Investors will get an update on consumer price inflation, watched for its influence on the Federal Reserve's interest-rate thinking, while shares of Snap Inc. and Nvidia Corp. may draw attention after their earnings releases late Thursday.

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South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.4 percent, taking its losses this week to almost 3 percent.

Manuel Oliveri, an FX strategist at Credit Agricole in London, said further gains in the franc were likely to trigger renewed risk of currency intervention by its central bank as it seems to be pursuing a policy of gradual currency weakness.

Disappointing US inflation and jobs data have not helped the dollar.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.36 percent to $1.1812.

"There are four more (inflation) prints between now and the December FOMC meeting and we expect the Fed to remain data-dependent, if a touch more cautious", said TD Securities in a research note.

The spot price of gold was 0.6 per cent to $US1285.53 an ounce overnight.

Damage for the week: The days of verbal sparring between Washington and Pyongyang looks set to bruise weekly performances for the major US indexes. It is on track for a weekly loss of 2 percent.

US crude (CLc1) was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent (LCOc1) was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

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

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