Stock markets lower, gold price continues to rise amid political tensions


Stock markets lower, gold price continues to rise amid political tensions

NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street put a floor under global equities on Friday after a weak inflation reading brought investors back into US stocks even as tensions between the United States and North Korea continued to escalate, though that tension still drove safe-haven buying of gold and the yen.

The Nasdaq composite lost 13.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,370.46.

The selling in United States markets started on August 8 after President Trump warned North Korea that threats will be "met with fire and fury".

London's FTSE 100 was almost 1% down during morning trading with share indices in Germany, France and Italy also in the red.

The MSCI World index dropped 1.1% overnight in its third straight day of declines and its biggest one-day slide since May 17, as US President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off. Sony Corp. shares in Tokyo dropped 1.6 percent. Nvidia's shares shed more than 5% after the chip maker's revenue rose only 2% from the first quarter.

The biggest fallers were Standard Life down 16p to 410.8p, Rio Tinto down 109.5p to 3,370p, Old Mutual down 6.2p to 195.3p, Anglo American down 39p to 1,238.5p. "The North Korea situation appears to be the culprit".

Investors again sought safe-haven assets such as gold and the Swiss franc, helping gold hit a more two-month high.

Pres. Trump doubled down this afternoon on his earlier "fire and fury" warning to North Korea, saying his earlier statement may not have been tough enough; stocks followed by sinking to their lows of the day.

Most South-east Asian stock markets closed lower too, as investors flocked instead to traditional safe-havens such as gold, the Japanese yen, and the bond market.

Stocks rose as market bulls saw a buying opportunity after the threat of North Korea pulled Wall Street lower for three days straight.

LOOKING GOOD: Michael Kors climbed 21.9% to $45.40 after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer posted quarterly results that beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.

The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU. On the Nasdaq, 2,082 issues fell and 669 advanced.

Benchmark US 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.1905 per cent, from 2.211 per cent late on Thursday. Crude briefly pared losses in late trading after USA inventories fell more than expected last week.

The dollar index fell 0.32 percent, with the euro up 0.42 percent to $1.1819.