Gold Rises Along With North Korea Tensions

US President Donald Trump's warning to North Korea has given gold momentum; investors are also awaiting US inflation data.

Trump further ratcheted up the rhetoric in remarks this afternoon, suggesting that his "fire and fury" comments may not have been tough enough. "The VIX index of implied future volatility on the S+P 500 index (the so-called 'fear index), jumped to a three-month high of over 15, and we saw growth-orientated stocks under-perform their value counterparts across developed stock markets".

The possibility of war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula is "very low" and tensions between the US and North Korea will probably dip around September or October, according to Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2 percent.

The world equity markets have lost 1000 billions of dollars of funding since the beginning of the verbal sparring between the United States and North Korea.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was almost flat on the day at 93.646, remaining above last week's 15-month low of 92.548.

The dollar was down 0.53 percent against the yen at 109.48 yen, after briefly dropping as low as 109.53.

North Korea raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam. The major index futures are now pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 21 points. They suggest the US and China, a North Korean ally, could work together to de-escalate the situation.

BAD TRIPS: Priceline Group slid 8.2 percent after the online travel booking service issued a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

European stocks opened sharply lower with Britain's FTSE 100 down 1.2 percent to 7,302.18.

The primary indicator of the week, consumer prices have slightly advanced in the month of July in the United States, but less than expected, according to figures released Friday by the ministry of Labour.

Department store operator J.C. Penney (JCP) is also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Friday.

At 9:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54.06 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,898.07, the S&P 500 was up 5.23 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,443.44.

The dollar index was up 0.15% to 93.68 as both the euro and sterling weakened against the greenback. In Asia, several indexes closed lower overnight.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.2255 per cent, from 2.242 per cent late on Wednesday.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. Humana rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96.

Vanessa Coleman

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