Asian markets fall again as North Korea tensions continue

The Weekly Standard reported Wednesday that the White House, including the president's national security team, did not help Trump prepare his remarks on North Korea, which were delivered ahead of a meeting on the opioid crisis in the USA and prompted by new reports that North Korea has escalated its nuclear program.

Possibly due to the lack of appetite for risk in the market, the euro suffered on Thursday, down slightly against the dollar by 0.09% at 1.1749, slipping towards a two week low.

"It looks like it was used as a good excuse to adjust positions", he said, referring to the heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base.

Many world stock markets have hit record or multiyear highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off, and the tensions over North Korea proved to be the trigger.

'Traders are on red alert as the mention of war has sent them running for cover. The index bounced off its lowest closing level in six months.

A statement from the North Korean military called President Donald Trump's warning that the communist nation would face "fire and fury" if it continued its provocations a "load of nonsense".

Markets had seen a tentative recovery in risk appetite in U.S. and early Asian trading, but as the war of words resumed Asian stocks dropped back and London, Frankfurt and Paris all lost 0.5 to 1.2 per cent.

The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, jumped 10.4 percent.

"It's wonderful when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte. "Indeed, the biggest increases in the price of gold have occurred when the United States bombed Libya in 1986, in the wake of the Gulf War in 1990, and, more recently, when ISIS attacks put oil supplies in the Middle East at risk".

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent.

"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.1 percent.

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.

SeaWorld Entertainment slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The US dollar meanwhile remained sluggish, with the dollar index being unable to hold on to modest gains from earlier in the session.

Investors opted for the perceived safety of US Treasuries, which pushed the yield on the 10-year note three basis points lower to 2.21%.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $49.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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