Markets slide, dollar slumps as North Korea fears spike

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In currencies, the yen rose 0.8 percent versus the greenback at 109.2 per dollar, the strongest level for the Japanese currency since mid June. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 5,773.70 while Manila and Jakarta also rose.

"It's wonderful when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina. "North Korea responding with a threat to US territory after Trump warned them not to threaten the USA was never going to go down well", Lawler said.

As is often the case, Wall Street was treated to volatility in August, the stock market's most turbulent month.

But the yen added to an already-strong weekly rally of close to 1.5 percent, hitting its highest in nearly four months versus the dollar at 108.73 yen. USA gold futures for December delivery rose 0.5% to $1,285 per ounce.

"Both (PPI measures) were well below consensus and give us no hope that consumer price inflation is going to materially beat expectations", said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index fell 1.69%. Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5 percent.

Investors had rushed to safe-haven assets after strongly worded exchanges between Washington and nuclear-armed North Korea late on Tuesday.

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Gold held steady at two-month high with spot gold rising 0.1 percent to $1,287.83 per ounce, putting the precious metal on pace for its biggest weekly gains since April.

The 30-year bond last /32 in price to yield 2.7933 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.22%. The Swissie also edged higher against the Euro, recording one of the largest single day rises since the January 2015 removal of the "peg" placed by the Swiss National Bank. Ten-year USA yields dropped 4 basis points to 2.242 percent US10YT=RR and German equivalents fell 3 bps to 0.43 percent DE10YT=TWEB, a six-week low.

Away from the geopolitical drama, US inflation data is due at 1330 GMT.

Singapore's DBS bank added in a statement that the yen "remains the safe haven currency from the sabre-rattling between US President Donald Trump and North Korea". USA -traded Nikkei futures fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3007, up 0.25 per cent on the day.

Economic data showed United States producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while separate figures showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

United States crude rose 0.41 per cent to US$48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.01, up 0.21 per cent.

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