Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

Gold steady near 2-month highs on N. Korea tensions

After the Pyongyang government outlined plans to fire rockets near the USA territory of Guam, President Trump said his previous warning "wasn't tough enough".

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was flat, slipping 0.01 percent, or 1.99 points, to sit at 19,736.72 by the break while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.13 percent, or 2.04 points, to 1,615.86.

The euro was 0.14 percent higher against the dollar.

Singapore's DBS bank added in a statement that the yen "remains the safe haven currency from the sabre-rattling between US President Donald Trump and North Korea".

Japanese financial markets will be closed Friday for a national holiday.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold rose to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from the uncertainty of escalating security tensions between North Korea and the US.

The dollar slid to an eight-week low against the yen on Friday but was slightly firm against a basket of major currencies.

North Korea: While at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Trump pledged North Korea would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" amid the country's latest nuclear threats.

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Australian shares fell to near three-week lows in a broad-based selloff.

The market's main backstop in times of strain, gold, hit a two-month high of $1,282 an ounce amid the nervousness.

Seoul shares hit 11-week low amid selling by foreign investors following Trump's fresh warning to North Korea. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 1.69%, while mainland markets saw the Shanghai Composite dip 1.04%. The yellow metal traded at $1,285.64 an ounce at 9:53 a.m. HK/SIN, a tad below the $1,285 level seen Thursday.

Data overnight from China showed that China's producer price gains held steady on surging commodity prices, as demand stayed resilient and the government's drive to reduce industrial capacity takes hold.

Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two months, while the Swiss franc increased by more than 1% against the USA dollar and saw its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years.

Investors retreated from several of this year's winners on Thursday, including shares of large US technology companies and biotechnology firms.

Graphics chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) is also likely to come under pressure after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but revenue from its data center and automotive businesses that missed estimates. Energy stocks fell along with crude prices as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

The declines have jolted markets from a period of calm, when stock indexes around the world climbed to records and volatility remained historically low.

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