Gold Prices Are Spiking Because People Are Freaked Out About Nuclear War

LONDON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - The dollar was pinned close to an eight-week low against the yen on Friday as escalating tension over North Korea dominated currency markets thinned out by the summer holidays in Europe and the United States. The stock fell another 2 cents, or 0.4%, to 5.12 Friday. Against the yen, the euro last traded at 128.29 yen, down 0.2 per cent.

"What we're seeing today is political tensions over North Korea and the United States. making people nervous", said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in NY.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the USA presidential election on Thursday, but was down 1.22 points at 14.82 points on Friday.

Nevertheless, the geopolitical uncertainty looks set to continue, dealers said, following Trump's fresh warning Friday that the USA military is "locked and loaded" in the event of a misstep by the totalitarian state.

Revenues in the first six months of the year rose 5.6% to 3.21bn euros (£2.9bn), helped by June's hot weather, and operating profits jumped almost 21% to 266.4m euros.

BIG GAINERS: Health care stocks were among the big gainers. July's 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices suggests that the Federal Reserve may be less likely to raise interest rates next month.

Significant strength is also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index. On the Nasdaq, 1 378 issues rose and 892 fell.

Large retailers Macy's and Kohl's tumbled on Thursday after they reported another quarter of shrinking sales.

In terms of forex market movements, the United States currency lost significant ground relative to majors including the yen, sterling and the euro - most notably the latter one - as the news on inflation went public.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.77 per cent, on track for its third straight day of declines as it pulled further back from all-time highs.

Gold futures rose 10.50 dollars or 0.82 percent to close at USD 1,285.10 per troy ounce at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. 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. Yields fall when bond prices rise. Germany's DAX dipped 0.1 per cent as the CAC 40 fell 1.1 per cent in Paris.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index ended the week 1.5 percent lower at 6,256.56, including a 2.1 percent plunge Thursday, as President Donald Trump delivered a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the US would respond to any further aggression.

ASIA'S DAY: Earlier, Asia bore the brunt of the mounting geopolitical uncertainty, with South Korea's Kospi index closing down 1.7 percent at 2,319.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ending 2 percent lower at 26,883.51. Inflation numbers surprised to the downside, leading the dollar to post considerable losses relative to other major currencies within the first minutes of data release.

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