Swiss franc consolidates after rallying hard on North Korea tensions

North Korea threats; China aluminum; Disney ditches Netflix

European stock markets slid again on Thursday as investors sought safe havens amid tensions between the United States and North Korea, despite an easing in rhetoric.

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea revealed a plan to launch ballistic missiles toward a major US military hub in the Pacific. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 204.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.01, just shy of its low point for the day.

US stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday, making up much of the ground they lost earlier after a rare batch of earnings disappointments by Walt Disney and other big companies.

Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session Wednesday as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors.

The most traditional safe havens at times of mounting geopolitical unrest are the Swiss franc and gold, and both were big movers on Wednesday.

The Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak, rising 1 percent versus the greenback at 0.96 per dollar. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent. Bucking the trend, shares of Travelers and those of Home Depot rose, recently up 1.1 percent and 1 percent respectively, posting the biggest percentage gains in the Dow.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea during an opioid-related briefing at Trump's golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 8. Were the situation to escalate, much more than the stock markets would be at risk.

Swiss franc consolidates after rallying hard on North Korea tensions

The dollar index fell 0.1 per cent, with the euro up 0.01 per cent to US$1.175 (RM5.04).

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. The news drove investors out of risky assets and into safe-haven assets like gold, U.S. Treasurys and the Japanese Yen.

Selling was broad. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 6-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 3.60-to-1 ratio favoured decliners. ( ) The Blue House said the committee also made a decision to seek all measures to cooperate with the USA and other key countries to alleviate those tensions and bring peace to the Peninsula, reiterating that neither military escalation nor an armed conflict will benefit anyone.

The euro was slightly up against the United States dollar to last trade at 1.1754, though the single currency has plunged from the highs of 1.1909 achieved last week following reports showing a strong labor market in the US. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London.

The December gold contract was ahead $16.70 USA to US$1,279.30 an ounce.

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

Copper lost 0.39 percent to $6,454.50 a tonne. Ray Dalio, who leads the world's largest hedge fund at Bridgewater Associates, recommends investors consider placing 5 percent to 10 percent of their assets in gold as a hedge against current political and economic risks.

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