Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Wall Street falls as investors flee risk on N. Korea concerns

Stocks tumbled today after President Donald J. Trump said his "fire and fury" comment to North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough".

The remarks followed North Korea's warning of preemptive missile strikes against the USA military base of Guam in response to two United States strategic bombers sent on Tuesday to South Korea. Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large USA military base.

Politics also lifted US defense stocks.

Asian stocks turned lower on Thursday as investors fretted about the latest flare-up of tensions between the USA and North Korea, sending Seoul shares skidding to two-month lows even as the previous day's rush into safe-haven assets appeared to slow.

The franc wasn't the only beneficiary to the risk-off sentiment sweeping markets.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday about the strength of the American nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope it would not need to be used.

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 204.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.01, just shy of its low point for the day.

The S&P fell as much as 0.52 percent at its session low.

Other stock indexes also ended the day lower.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.03 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.68 percent, snapping a brief foray into posiive territory early in the day and extended losses from Wednesday.

S&P 500 e-mini futures ESc1 were down 0.2 percent, while the dollar dipped 0.2 percent against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart to 110.11 yen JPY=.

"Tensions are still high and not going away at the moment".

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South Korea's won dropped 0.9 percent against the USA dollar to its lowest close since July 13. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares declined 0.6 percent.

Against the dollar, the franc surged 0.6 percent to 0.9688 francs, reversing a two-week losing streak. Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis. It is still the best performing G10 currency so far this year with gains of more than 11 percent against the dollar.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.22 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite lost 68 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,284.

"In accordance with existing procedures, we informed North Korea of the training plan in advance through the UN Command Military Armistice Commission". Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London. In commodities, crude oil lost momentum after rising overnight on data pointing to declining USA inventories.

USA stock futures were pointing to a weaker open on Wednesday. Spot gold was 0.1 percent lower at $1,276.78 an ounce after having spiked the previous day to a near two-month peak of $1,278.66.

Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

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