Safe-haven assets gain on escalating US-North Korea geopolitical turmoil

US: Dow streak of records ends amid US-North Korea tensions

USA stocks are headed lower in early trading Wednesday as traders weighed the growing tensions between the US and North Korea. The Dow is down 48.57 points or 0.2% at 22,036.77, the Nasdaq is down 20.93 points or 0.3% at 6,349.53 and the S&P 500 is down 3.18 points or 0.1% at 2,471.74.

Regional stocks remained lower throughout the session after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat to strike a USA military base in Guam (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-threatens-missile-strike-on-us-base-on-guam-2017-08-08).

The major averages have climbed off their lows of the session but remain in negative territory.

SeaWorld Entertainment shares lost more than 6 percent.

USA crude fell 0.55 percent to $49.12 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.03, down 0.65 percent on the day.

The Swiss franc was on pace for its biggest single-day rise against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4%.

The escalation in rhetoric jarred financial markets as investors sheltered their cash in assets that tend to perform in times of stress. The market slide accelerated slightly in the last half-hour of trading as Trump denounced North Korea's nuclear program.

USA crude oil jumped 1% to $49.59/bbl after the week's crude inventory report showed a larger than expected draw.

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Netflix also fell, giving up $3.37, or 1.9 percent, to $174.99.

Considerable weakness is also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.1% drop by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index. Prices for bonds and gold headed higher.

USA equivalents fell 3 bps to 2.25 percent. It marked its lowest since July 26 in the previous session at $1,251.01 an ounce.

About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on US stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 dropped 1.1% to 12,154.00, and in Paris, the CAC 40 index was fell 1.4% to 5,145.70.

The S&P 500 is down up 1.91 points, or 0.1 percent.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 27 cents to $49.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The drop in United States futures Wednesday is not outsized relative to the recent trend; Tuesday was the 14th day in a row the S&P 500 closed within 0.3% of its opening level. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London.

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