Gold futures rise to near two-month high on geopolitical tension

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US gold futures fell 0.47 percent to $1,258.80 an ounce.Copper rose 0.78 percent to $6,464.00 a ton. The broader S&P 500 looks ready to fall 7.75 points, or 0.31%, at the start of trading.

Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities, also said North Korea's latest threat against the USA weighed on the main index.

President Trump promises "fire and fury" for North Korea.

The VIX closed 1.4 percent higher but at the lowest level of the day at 11.11, after rising as high as 12.63.

Worries about increased U.S. "As long as it doesn't go beyond just a war of words, this is going to be short-lived".

Trader reaction to company earnings also contributed to the slide on Wall Street, which had been trading in record territory. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent.

Disappointing quarterly results from big department store chains also weighed down the market.

Markets were largely flat otherwise, with the S&P down 0.04% overnight and losses in Asia were small.

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However, shares of Dean Foods tumbled 20% to $US11.96 after the U.S. dairy processor posted quarterly results that fell short of expectations and downgraded its full-year forecast amid "a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment". Macy's slumped 9.7 percent after reporting its 10th straight decline in a key sales measure. While both firms reported strong quarterly revenue gains, they were more cautious about growth prospects ahead. Forecasts were for a rise by 1.2%, while costs during the first quarter were revised upwards to 5.4% from 2.2%.

Out of the USA, preliminary estimates showed second quarter non-farm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rising 0.9% on an annualized basis, above the 0.7% increase that was expected. Crude oil prices headed lower. Netflix also fell, giving up $4.57, or 2.6 percent, to $173.79. Brent crude was up 30 cents at $53.00 a barrel.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent. It rose $15.70, or 1.2 percent, to $1,277.80 an ounce. Simon Property Group fell 2.1% to $162.86.

The US dollar fell to 110.48 yen from 110.72 yen late on Monday. The US currency was up relative to the euro, though not by much - euro/dollar traded at 1.1745.

European equity markets continued to lose ground on Thursday which provided further net support to gold, especially with bond yields tending to drift lower.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a auto hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1%.

The sell off in stocks and flight to safety gathered pace in early European trade as the already cool relationship between the United States and North Korea turned icy following hard-nosed rhetoric from both nations.

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