Dollar at eight-week low vs yen as North Korea tensions simmer

Men walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday Aug. 10 2017. Asian stocks were mostly lower in Thursday trading as investors began to digest worries over the escalating tensions caused

Men walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday Aug. 10 2017. Asian stocks were mostly lower in Thursday trading as investors began to digest worries over the escalating tensions caused

Adding to the modest losses posted in the two previous sessions, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday. December gold finished up $10.80, or 0.8%, at $1,290.10 an ounce, marking the highest level for a most-active contract since June 7, when the metal finished at $1,293.20 an ounce, FactSet data showed.

It was reported Tuesday the USA intelligence community believes North Korea has developed mini nuclear warheads that can be fitted into ICBMs. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 204.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.01, just shy of its low point for the day. The Russell 2000 index gave up 24.40 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,372.54.

Safe-haven demand rose after North Korea said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, where a USA military base is located, shrugging off President Donald Trump's earlier warning that further threats to the United States will be met with "fire and fury".

Oil prices edged higher after a report showed USA refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited gains.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes were last up rose 11/32 in price to yield 2.2423 percent, from 2.282 percent late on Tuesday.

The euro was 0.18 percent lower against the greenback but remains the best-performing G10 currency so far this year with gains of more than 11 percent against the dollar.

South Korean marines fired a Spike surface-to-surface missile and more than 200 artillery rounds from K9 self-propelled howitzers, staging a "routine" exercise near the tense western border with North Korea. Netflix also fell, giving up $2.58, or 1.4 percent, to $175.78. Discovery Communications fell 70 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $23.60.

Franklin gaining hurricane strength as it draws bead on Mexico's Gulf coast
The tropical Atlantic is about 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, which can spur on hurricane development, Bell said. These numbers include the six named storms that have occurred already this season - including Tropical Storm Franklin .

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 4 cents to $49.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

There were also signs of a "buy-the-dip mentality" as the day wore on, according to Katrina Lamb, head of investment strategy and research at MV Financial in Bethesda, Maryland. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.4 percent.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent. Australia bucked the trend with a 0.4% gain.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Meanwhile, gold stocks bucked the downtrend, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.90 a pound.

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

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