European markets end lower amid geopolitical tensions

A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York City

The North Korea crisis in 300 words

July's 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

US stocks opened with tepid gains on Friday, as Wall Street attempted to claw back from a sharp decline in the previous session, underlining a downbeat week for assets perceived as risky amid ongoing geopolitical uncertainty.

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

He said the crisis provided a "perfect trigger" for a correction at a time when many markets - including the FTSE 100 - were at or around record highs, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off if investors think it is time to take profits.

The sabre-rattling - sparked when President Donald Trump stunned the world with an apocalyptic warning to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea - continued Thursday as Pyongyang mocked the USA leader as "bereft of reason".

North Korea had responded to Mr Trump's previous promise to unleash "fire and fury", with a threat to land a missile near the US Pacific territory of Guam. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent, while Japan was closed on a public holiday.

"There's not a great incentive to buy big". The statement has dominated the headlines, and is one of the main drivers in the markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .dji rose 38.9 points, or 0.18 percent, to 21,882.91, the S&P 500 .spx gained 5.46 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,443.67 and the Nasdaq Composite .ixic added 41.86 points, or 0.67 percent, to 6,258.73.

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday, and Asian markets fell sharply, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropping 2%.

"Pretty remarkable, perhaps even extraordinary, considering", said Tim Ash, strategist at fund manager BlueBay.

Several indexes closed lower overnight.

Johannesburg/London - Gold prices climbed to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, while bullion also received support from weak USA inflation data.

In other precious metals, silver surged 1.7 pe rcent to $17.20 an ounce after hitting $17.24, its highest since June 14. Since the beginning of 2017, the barometer index of the S&P 500 had only two sessions of declines of 1 % or more.

The indicated USA market moves reflect a selloff across global stock markets Friday.

The dollar index .dxy fell 0.39 percent, with the euro up 0.48 percent to $1.1827.

This increase in tension between the USA and North Korea seem to be affecting the oil prices as well as they have dropped through the $49 region and now trade just above the $48 region as of this writing and continues to look weak. It was down 0.1 percent at 109.07 yen JPY= , after retreating 0.8 percent on Thursday.

Futures markets were also pointing to a lower start for Wall Street, where missile makers have been the only significant gainers in recent days.

"It looks like it was used as a good excuse to adjust positions", he said, referring to the latest flare-up of tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.1888 percent, from 2.211 percent late on Thursday.

Gold prices continued to move higher and now they are back in the highs of their yearly range and this means that they are very close to their highs of the year and thus in an important position. It was on course for a weekly rise of about 5%, the biggest such gain since July 2016.

Unlike the tense stand-off on the Korean peninsula, Australian investors took a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to heightened global anxieties, wiping around $20 billion off the market.

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