S. Korea's NSC to hold emergency meeting over N. Korean missile threats

S. Korea's NSC to hold emergency meeting over N. Korean missile threats

It was an escalation of words Tuesday between the USA and North Korea, following reports that the small country had created a warhead small enough to fit on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 22,000.

All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62 percent leading the decliners. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop. Also, the figures and forecasts of vehicle rental company Avis were disappointing and that share trimmed 10 percent.

Heading into Thursday, some 89 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported quarterly results.

Meanwhile, gold stocks bucked the downtrend, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.3%.

The latest North Korean threat sparked serious concerns here as it followed a clear and possibly the strongest warning yet from U.S. President Donald Trump, who said the North will be met by "fire and fury" that the world has never seen before should the communist state continue to make threats against his country.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 percent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

U.S. government bonds strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.229%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.246% on Wednesday. The Dow is now 0.9% off its closing record, while the S&P 500 is 1.3% off and the Nasdaq is 2.7% off their respective closing records. Discovery Communications fell 94 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $23.36.

The price of gold, a safe-haven asset, hit its highest levels in two months as North Korea and the United States exchanged more threats, with North Korea outlining detailed plans for a missile strike near the Pacific territory of Guam.

Asian and American markets also struggled.

Guam Governor plays down N. Korean missile attack threat
Pacific territory of Guam, hours after President Donald Trump said any threat from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury". Calvo also suggested reporters aren't giving the full picture when it comes to the USA territory in the western Pacific Ocean.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 0.75 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.33 percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 per cent to $16.48 per ounce. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.5 percent to C$68.23, while Quebecor Inc added 2.9 percent to C$44.60.

The U.S. dollar fell to 110.48 yen from 110.72 yen late Monday.

Against the Swiss franc EURCHF=EBS, it fared slightly better and was broadly flat on the day at 1.1319 francs per euro.

In commodities, crude oil stretched gains after rising overnight on data pointing to declining USA inventories.

Gold prices closed up around 1.48% at $1,281.30 per ounce on Wednesday.

Some of the top performing gold and gold mining stocks also rose on the back of the heightened USA and North Korean tensions.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3005, up 0.12 per cent on the day.

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