Shares slip, yen and gold gain as Korea tensions escalate

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The Korean won also continued to fall, down 0.45 percent to 1,147.2.

Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric against North Korea and its leader on Thursday, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory.

Market analysts expect that the pullback in stocks due to the increasingly aggressive tone in exchanges between Washington and Pyongyang will continue, although investors hope that the selling will not escalate to a correction - a decline of 10 percent or more.

"If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

"I'll tell you why, and they should be very nervous".

The yen, which gained 0.2 percent on Wednesday, edged up marginally as demand for it as a safe-haven - which can increased when geopolitical anxiety rises - tapered off.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.28 percent.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks closed lower on Thursday led by technology companies.

The dollar last changed hands at 108.96 yen, down 0.2 percent.

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Shaun Osborn from Scotiabank said, "The yen is the big story really".

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was almost flat on the day at 93.646, remaining above last week's 15-month low of 92.548.

The market also awaited U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about the pace of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary tightening. She says Germany would work to find diplomatic solutions with the countries involved, the USA and China in particular, but also South Korea. Reuters data show a 28-percent chance for a hike after the Fed's December meeting.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in USA crude inventories.

Spot gold (XAU=) added 0.7 percent to $1,286.00 an ounce.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday but the tense mood dragged Asian shares lower and an MSCI index of stocks across the globe was on track to post its largest weekly drop since the week before Donald Trump won the USA presidential election in November.

Overnight, US hedge fund manager Ray Dalio recommended, in a post on his Linkedin page, to shift assets into gold because "prospective risks are now rising and do not appear appropriately priced in" because of a backward look at risk, high corporate leveraging and because past risks have been low.

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