Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions

Persistent gold buying by local jewellers at domestic spot market stoked uptrend

The growing tensions between North Korea and the United States are continuing to weigh on the financial markets today.

"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction, so North Korea has provided a ideal trigger", he added.

Mr Trump, whose threat this week to bring "fire and fury" was dismissed by North Korea, said Thursday that statement might not have been "tough enough".

The technology sector was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop.

"The escalation of the geopolitical situation between the US and North Korea is beginning to rattle investors' nerves as was witnessed in the VIX index yesterday", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. The move added to escalating U.S.

Unease over the North Korean situation pushed the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, up 44.4 percent.

Canada's main stock index turned slightly higher in early trade on Wednesday, as gains for gold miners and energy companies with higher commodity prices offset falls among financials. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2 percent.

Kohl's, another department store chain, slumped 8.9 percent after reporting that second-quarter sales dipped 0.9 percent compared with the year-ago period.

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Shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook fell more than 2% Thursday. On the Nasdaq, 1,846 issues fell and 953 advanced favouring decliners.

The Straits Times Index sank 1.31 per cent or 43.52 points to 3,279.72, down 1.4 per cent for the week. On Thursday, fellow newly public company Blue Apron Holdings lost 18% after the meal-kit maker reported rising costs amid increased competition.

U.S. stocks have risen week after week this year - with the S&P up more than 9 percent - in extremely low volatility, as strong corporate earnings and an improving global economy offset disappointment that U.S. President Donald Trump's promises to lower corporate taxes and implement a massive infrastructure spending have so far failed to see the light of day. The stock fell 76 cents to $5.48.

He said the crisis provided a "perfect trigger" for a correction at a time when many markets - including the FTSE 100 - were at or around record highs, leaving them vulnerable to a sell-off if investors think it is time to take profits.

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%.

France's CAC dropped 1.6 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 1.3 per cent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 per cent. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at USD1.826 compared to yesterday's USD1.1772.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe were headed lower.

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