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Swiss franc, yen rise as North Korea tensions brew

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Swiss franc, yen rise as North Korea tensions brew

News late Tuesday that North Korea was reviewing plans for an attack on US military assets on the island of Guam came just hours after President Trump had warned that continued threats would be met "with fire and fury like the world has never seen". Its biggest drags were Priceline and Walt Disney.

"Heightened geopolitical risks overnight have seen the markets flip from risk-on to risk-off and we have to wait and see how long this move runs before adding some positions", said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING in London.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,079.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped to 2,474.92, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped to 6,370.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,400. Rival TripAdvisor also slumped after its latest quarterly report showed that online and transaction revenue growth fell sharply. Net income fell to US$3 million from US$36 million in the year-ago quarter. Netflix also fell, giving up $3.37, or 1.9 percent, to $174.99.

The 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.2655 percent, from 2.257 percent late on Monday.

Brokerage stocks are among the few groups seeing notable weakness, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index down by 1 percent.

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On a day which also marked 10 years since the start of the global financial crisis, the pan-European STOXX 600 ended the session 0.7 percent lower, while Euro zone stocks.STOXXE and blue-chips dropped more than 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

Shares in London-listed precious metals miners Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) meanwhile have been in demand, with investors flocking to safe haven assets such as gold. December-dated gold futures finished the day up 1.3%, or $16.70 at $1,279.30 per ounce.

BONDS: Bond prices rose.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index bucked the trend to climb 0.52%, driven by gains in its heavily-weighted financials sub-index, which rose 0.8%. US gold futures gained 0.09 percent to $1,265.80 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.96 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

Some of the top performing gold and gold mining stocks also rose on the back of the heightened US and North Korean tensions.

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