Gold Hits 2-Month Peak As North Korea Repeats Guam Threat

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The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 4.02 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,410.15.

While European stocks have seen robust inflows in the wake of the French elections, their performance have lagged their USA rivals since mid June.

Analysts put the share price fall down to slowing growth in the second quarter, with shares slipping more than 7% or 24.7p to 305.9p.

Demand for safe haven assets moderated after gaining overnight in response to President Donald Trump's Tuesday warning of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to make threats against the U.S. The hermit state responded to Trump's rhetoric by suggesting it could strike Guam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 33.08 (-0.15 percent) to finish at 22,085.34.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who often has emphasised the devastating costs of any conflict with North Korea, seemed to back up Trump's tone.

Stocks across Europe and throughout Asia fell Wednesday after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an explicit threat of to strike a USA military base in Guam (

Gold prices continued to rise after North Korea state media warned its missiles could surround the U.S. territory of Guam in an "enveloping fire" in coming weeks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.30% while the blue chip STOXX 500 was 0.38% lower.

Struggling conglomerate Toshiba rose 3.20 percent to sit at 290 yen on expectations that it will meet a deadline to submit its long-delayed financial results, easing fears the embattled stock will be delisted from Japan's premier exchange.

For a bit of actual economic news rather than geopolitical doom-and-gloom, the Labor Department reported that productivity among American workers rose by 0.9% during the second quarter. Gold rose 1.2%, while the Swiss franc was on track to post its biggest single day increase against the euro in about two-and-a-half years. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

U.S. crude rose 0.69 per cent to US$49.51 per barrel and Brent was last at US$52.66, up 1 per cent on the day.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3005, up 0.12 per cent on the day. The crude oil inventory data from the USA showed a much bigger draw than what was expected and this was a boost to the oil prices which has helped it to steady itself and this steady and bullish trading should continue in the short term.

The VIX rose further on Wednesday, rising as far as 12.11, its highest in nearly a month. USA gold futures gained 1.50 per cent to US$1,281.50 an ounce.