Gold hits over two-month high on N.Korea tensions

US sent two bombers to Korea this week: official

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,467. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,016.

Simmering tensions with North Korea were also weighing on the market in early trading Thursday.

Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific that has a US military base.

"They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries", Trump said.

"The market's dent only lasted for a week in April when tension rose between them after North Korea launched a missile".

The escalating sentiments out of North Korea and Washington after the weekend UN Security Council sanctions helped send the price of the fail-safe currency up on Wednesday.

On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected drop in USA producer prices in the month of July. Economists had expected another 0.1% uptick.

On the macroeconomic slate, Statistics Canada reported new house prices eked up 0.2% nationwide in June, due largely to lack of momentum on prices in Southern Ontario.

Meanwhile, U.S. wholesale prices ( declined in July for the first time in nearly a year, providing additional evidence of tepid inflation that is bedeviling the Federal Reserve.

At 1.30pm, the United States will announce the jobless claims report, and economists are expecting it to remain steady at 240,000.

Amid broad based weakness on Wall Street, biotechnology stocks turned in some of the market's worst performances on the day. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. With the drop, the index has slid to a one-month intraday low.

Heading into Thursday, some 89 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported quarterly results.

"North Korea doesn't seem like they're going to back down and the US has also made a very strong stance this time". The stock lost $142.20 to $1,906.80.

Spot gold added 1.2 per cent to US$1,275.60 an ounce.

Wall Street's downbeat start followed a slide in major stock indexes in Europe and Asia.

The major European markets are also seeing continued weakness on the day.

The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index slipped 0.9 percent. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 2.226 percent.

The futures remained in the red following the release of a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in USA producer prices in the month of July.

Plus, Macy's earnings; Blue Apron's first report; and the latest Tesla news. The trend appeared to overshadow strong quarterly revenue growth. Banks and department store shares also were among the big decliners.



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