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Guam's residents concerned but have faith in US military

11 August 2017

Most Asian currencies stumbled, with the Korean won on pace for its biggest fall in almost eight weeks as North Korea warned it is "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

North Korea "has no intentions of backing down".

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".

"We keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the USA", it said.

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, Wall Street's three major indexes bounced off intraday lows.

Gold prices have maintained a firm tone with a push to 2-month highs on Thursday as underlying demand for defensive assets remained an important feature.

In 3.28pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.15 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.18 percent. The Nasdaq composite lost 37 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,332.

The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea.

If North Korea were to actually carry it out - even if it aimed at hitting the waters off Guam and not the island itself - that would clearly pose a potential threat to US territory and put the United States in a much more complicated situation than it has been during previous missile launches.

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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.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.19%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.20 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,396.95.

Fossil tumbled 25.1% after the watch maker said sales continued to weaken, falling short of analysts' estimates. That's the index's lowest level in two months.

The dollar pared gains slightly after Trump's North Korea comments, still supported by the job market data which underscored the view that the Federal Reserve has ammunition to continue on its tighter monetary policy path.

Spot gold rose 0.3 per cent to $1,264.50 per ounce at 0324 GMT, while United States gold futures for December delivery rose 0.6 per cent to $1,270.40 per ounce.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.1 basis points at 2.220%.

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

Silver futures for September delivery on the Comex rose 2.9 per cent, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since November.

Oil prices settled lower after a volatile session on increasing exports from key OPEC producers and news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia.

Guam's residents concerned but have faith in US military