The Swiss and Japanese currencies are often sought in times of geopolitical tension partly because the countries have big current account surpluses. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
Tokyo’s blue-chip index tumbled 1.3 percent to its lowest close since late May after the Dow’s winning streak of nine straight records ended following Trump’s sharp rhetoric of “fire and fury”, with the main European bourses also opening lower Wednesday.
“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation’s Cuban Missile crisis moment, with recent leaked intelligence reports alleging that North Korea now has miniaturised its nuclear warheads, which extends the range of its missiles, and potentially brings US targets into reach”, ING’s chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note on Friday.
About 7.5 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges, well above the 6.25 billion average for the last 20 days.
Australian shares were down 1.3 per cent, set for a weekly loss of 0.6 percent and Chinese and Hong Kong bluechips lost 1.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.
Traders have been eyeing the United States volatility index (also known as the “VIX”), which is the options markets pricing of implied volatility in the S&P 500 over the next 30 days and again this has been at such subdued levels.
US stock futures were pointing to a weaker open on Friday.
The yield on US 10-year Treasurys slid to 2.199% Friday from 2.211% Thursday.
Spot gold prices were little changed at $1,286.05 an ounce, after touching a two-month high earlier.
Financial markets have tended to quickly shake off North Korea’s periodic saber-rattling in the past, dismissing it as bluster, but tensions have lingered this year amid signs that it is making progress in its ballistic missile program and on Trump’s growing frustration with Pyongyang.
The remarks followed a new report asserting that USA intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
The UK’s stock market ended the week down 1.1% as worries over the situation between the U.S. and North Korea continue to rattle investors.
At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 70.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to 15,146.38.
The benchmark United States yield yesterday was just above 2.2 per cent, at its lowest level since late June, as investors bought up Treasuries, a classic safe harbor.
Neil Mellor, a currency strategist with Bank of New York Mellon in London, said the pound was “drifting towards the lows from last month against the dollar“. -North Korea tension also weighed on the Canadian dollar, which weakened against its US counterpart, despite higher oil prices and stronger-than-expected domestic housing data. July’s 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month. Dollar” and there is the “U.S.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 1.11 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.
Seagate Technology gained 2.3 percent after investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company. It is poised to end the week down 1.7 percent.
USA crude futures extended losses from Thursday, when they tumbled 2 percent on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over a global oversupply.