Stocks lower, safe-haven assets higher amid US-North Korea tensions

In what military experts say appears to be a North Korean KN-08 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade on Saturday

Retail brands surprise on Wall Street

Worries over a potential confrontation between the United States and North Korea weighed heavily on global stock markets on Wednesday but helped boost the price of assets, such as gold and the Swiss franc, that are considered safe havens in times of geopolitical peril.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base.

According to reports, North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam.

In 3.16pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.5 percent.

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

"With the ongoing problems we have with North Korea there's always the possibility of war", said Dr. Wilson.

Gold is on the move this week after saber-rattling by the US and North Korea pushed the safe-haven metal back onto investors' radar.

The Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak, rising rose 1.12 per cent versus the greenback at 0.96 per dollar.

Loop Capital Reaffirms "Hold" Rating for Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP)
Loop Capital restated a hold rating and issued a $5.00 target price on shares of Office Depot in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. The last close places the company's stock about $0.15 off its 52 week high of $6.26 and $3.1 above the 52 week low of $3.01.

Financial stocks underperformed after U.S. Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose in Wednesday's flight to safety. It was last up 1 percent at 1.133 per euro.

Officials from the South Korean presidential office earlier insisted the North Korean threat may have been aimed at multiple objectives, including causing the kind of confusion and chaos now seen in both South Korea and the United States, which in turn may weaken the alliance between the two, rather than signaling its actual or imminent armed provocation.

Shares of Walt Disney fell after the company announced plans to offer its own streaming services. "Risk aversion is still very much a concern for markets", said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 28 cents to $49.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. USA crude rose 1.08 per cent to US$49.70 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.78, up 1.23 per cent on the day. US gold futures gained 1.27 percent to $1,278.60 an ounce.

The price of oil was also 0.3% ahead at 52.29 U.S. dollars a barrel, with stockpiles coming under pressure from falling crude oil imports and record processing at American refineries.

Spot gold added 1 percent to $1,272.83 an ounce. The Dow slid 0.2 percent to 22,085.34. Macy's sank 10.3 per cent and Kohl's lost 5.8 per cent.

In the Asian trading, the Australian dollar fell to 0.7868 against the US dollar, 86.54 against the yen and 1.4924 against the euro, from yesterday's closing quotes of 0.7886, 86.80 and 1.4903, respectively.

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