Wall St set to open lower as tensions with N.Korea mount

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

U.S. stock indexes opened higher for the first time in four days on Friday after tepid data pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising rates again this year, even as concerns lingered over rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

"Both precious metals are looking increasingly bullish from a technical standpoint, but gold has drifted higher of late, breaking many resistance levels in the process".

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

"Clearly the market's taken a bit of a black eye", said Fahad Kamal, senior market strategist at Kleinwort Hambros, commenting on how the markets reversed course after a strong start this week. Reuters data show a 28 percent chance for a hike after the Fed's December meeting.

WALL STREET: Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled USA stocks lower, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that US threats from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury", which prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans for a missile strike on the USA pacific territory of Guam.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 204 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.

"There's not a great incentive to buy big", said Lerner of SunTrust Advisory.

Guam, which is more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea, is home to about 163,000 people and a U.S. Navy base that includes a submarine squadron and a Coast Guard group, and an air base.

The euro was down 0.4 percent at just over $1.17 and nearing a two-week low, while the New Zealand dollar NZD=D4 tumbled a full 1 percent as its central bank head bluntly said he wanted it lower.

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The local currency closed at 1,143.50 won against the USA dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close. "Risk aversion is still very much a concern for markets".

The index's losses mirrored global markets, which fell after incendiary words between the United States and North Korea.

The yen on Friday added to a strong weekly rally against the dollar of close to 1.5 per cent, hitting its highest versus the greenback in nearly four months, at 108.73 yen. The $1,279 area is a key technical level, representing a downtrend that has been in force since mid-2016 when gold surged to a two-year peak of $1,374.91.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft U.S. inflation data.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Fed's 2% target, despite low unemployment.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,319.71.

Holdings of the largest silver backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York's iShares Silver Trust SLV, stood at 10,530.59 tonne down 32.34 tonnes, from its last business day.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.77 yen from Tuesday's 110.34.

Nervous markets: Global markets are heading for a third consecutive day of losses amid growing tensions between North Korea and the U.S. The market was waiting f or US consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.20 percent.

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