North Korea threatens missile strike on U.S. territory Guam

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North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific island territory of Guam in an unusually detailed threat that further heightened tensions with the US.

Trump issued his strongest warning yet for North Korea in comments to reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday.

The jitters came as Pyongyang said it was considering plans to attack the US Pacific territory of Guam - while Donald Trump threatened to react with "fire and fury".

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said in 2014 that Guam increasingly has become a strategic hub for the US military.

All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62% leading the decliners. "I think (the North Korea situation) is going to continue to provide a little bit of support, but not enough to push prices significantly higher from here", he added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.08 points, or 0.15 percent, to 22,085.34, the S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,474.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.31 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,370.46.

But while investors appeared to favor safe-haven assets, some bargain seekers helped Wall Street's three major indexes pare losses and some US officials sought to dial back tensions.

Financial markets have tended to quickly shake off North Korea's periodic saber-rattling in the past, dismissing it as bluster, but tensions have lingered this year amid signs that it is making progress in its ballistic missile program and on Trump's growing frustration with Pyongyang.

Globally, France's CAC 40 share index fell 1.5 percent by the afternoon; Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent.

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The dollar was last up 0.3% at 0.9660 francs, while the euro was trading marginally higher at 1.1339 francs.

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

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

Watch maker Fossil Group plunged 25 percent after reporting a weak quarter.

Against the tense backdrop, the South Korean won extended its losses on Thursday and touched its lowest level against the dollar in about a month.

Gold prices edged lower early Thursday, moving away from near two-month highs hit in the previous session as safe haven demand triggered by rising tensions in the Korean peninsula eased.

In the latest U.S. economic data, the Labour Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed job openings rose by 461,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million, a record high. Rival TripAdvisor also slumped after its latest quarterly report showed that online and transaction revenue growth fell sharply.

The 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.2655 percent, from 2.257 percent late on Monday. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.79 yen from Tuesday's 110.34 yen.

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