1Gold inches lower as North Korea tensions ease

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That prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans to fire missiles at the USA -held Pacific island of Guam.

"There is a more relaxed attitude being taken towards the Korean situation in markets". "You're less than 2 per cent off the high for the S&P heading into a weekend where uncertainty with North Korea still lingers".

But many of those markets began to bounce back on Monday, with Hong Kong stocks climbing 1.4%, for example.

Although money is leaving the safe haven asset and flowing back into the stock market, losses could be limited because of concerns over the direction of US interest rates.

MSCI's world equity index was up 0.75 percent .MIWD00000PUS after its biggest weekly drop since early November and the USA benchmark S&P 500 climbed 1.01 percent, on track for its third one percent daily gain in 2017.

At the same time, foreign investors, in particular, tend to use the massive Japanese stock market to avert losses when risks emerge in Asia.

The downbeat mood last week was spurred by a war-of-words between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which fueled fears of military action on both sides. When the dollar goes up, gold futures will fall.

The Swiss franc, which gained 1.1 per cent on August 9 as the war of words over the Korean peninsula intensified, fell 0.2 per cent to 0.9736 per dollar.

But Merck shares rose modestly, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF climbed 1%, in line with the rest of the market.

The dollar edged lower against a trade-weighted basket of currencies on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly drop in three weeks as expectations of US rate increases dwindled further after weak inflation data.

Also weighing on the metal was the prospect of another raise in USA interest rates by the Federal Reserve this year, with one influential member, New York Fed President William Dudley backing the same.

Indexes in the region followed the trend set by the U.S.'s S&P 500 overnight, which was up around 1%.

The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond DE10YT=TWEB, the benchmark for the euro zone, was up 4.5 bps to 0.43 percent, a move mirrored by most other euro zone debt.

On commodities markets, the safe haven asset gold was trading at about $1,275 an ounce, down from $1,292 reached last Friday.

Brent crude, the worldwide standard, shed 1.37 U.S. dollars, or 2.6%, to 50.73 U.S. dollars a barrel in London.