Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Swiss franc surges as Korea tensions rise

Swiss franc surges as Korea tensions rise

Japanese stocks finished slightly lower after a choppy session on Thursday, as investors kept a wary watch on tension over North Korea ahead of Japan's long weekend.

Switzerland's franc on Wednesday posted its biggest single-day rise against the euro since the central bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015. They outweighed gains in healthcare stocks and elsewhere.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.

The Swiss franc and the yen had notched up impressive gains against the dollar on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

"Right now the market is viewing it as a lot of sabre-rattling and a lot of smoke, but not much fire", said Darrell Cronk, president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

The dollar also slipped 0.26 percent lower against the yen to 110.01 yen. Earlier, the average had been down more than 88 points.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent compared with the closing level on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 slid 35.81 points, or 1.4%, to 2438.21. That is the index's lowest level in two months.

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This serves as the first mission for the crews and aircraft recently deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in support of U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence missions, officials said.

Bullion has climbed 12% in 2017, overtaking the S&P 500 index of leading USA stocks as Japan and South Korea warned the North Korean dictatorship it faces a strong response if it follows through on threats to launch a missile toward the US territory of Guam.

The comments came after media reports that North Korea has produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles. -North Korea tension. The Swiss franc is a traditional safe haven.

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

Nvidia fell $7.37, or 4.3 percent, to $164.74, while Advanced Micro Devices gave up 71 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $12.12.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 1 cent to $49.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slid 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $51.90. USA gold futures gained 1.50 percent to $1,281.50 an ounce.

Onodera, the defense minister, told parliament on Thursday that an attack on Guam would fall under that legislation because of its importance to Japan's own defense.

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