Korean shares open lower on heightened tensions over N

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Worries over a potential confrontation between the United States and North Korea weighed heavily on global stock markets on Wednesday but helped boost the price of assets, such as gold and the Swiss franc, that are considered safe havens in times of geopolitical peril.

Earlier on Wednesday, US stocks were trading lower after President Trump's warning to North Korea to "not make any more threats" is met by just that as North Korea ratcheted up tensions threatening missile strike action against US military installations near Guam. As stocks fell, the CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investors' expectations for swings in the S&P 500 over the next 30 days, surged 44% to 16.04 - its highest level since Election Day. Even so, the close was the highest in a month.

Tensions spiked yet further when North Korean state media later said Pyongyang was considering strikes near U.S. military installations in Guam.

THE QUOTE: "Risk-averse sentiment is dominating global equities markets, and US indices have retraced from record levels over the last two days".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a third straight session, shedding 204.69 points, or 0.9%, to 21844.01 Thursday in the index's biggest one-day decline since May 17. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3261.75 points.

Celltrion fell 0.91 percent to 108,400 won and CJ E&M dropped 0.98 percent to 71,000 won. The dollar played no major role, as the USD was down just 0.1% to 93.55 on the DXY index. The Japanese yen has found some haven bids. After falling into the red at the tail-end of Tuesday's trading session, shares in the US opened modestly lower again on Wednesday.

The benchmark USA yield on Thursday was just above 2.2 percent, at its lowest level since late June, as investors bought up Treasuries, a classic safe harbor.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor was up 0.69 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO advanced 1.04 percent.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.08 percent versus the greenback at 110.00 per dollar.

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Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds should a crisis eventuate.

The Swiss franc was on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015. The euro fell to $1.1735 from $1.1757.

Yields on core government debt fell.

With Asian bourses and USA stock futures weakening early on Wednesday, the safe-haven 10-year Treasury yield was last down 3 basis points.

Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second-quarter results late Wednesday, rallied 10.7 percent to C$22.47.

Mr. Cappelleri said he would need to see more pullbacks of at least 1% before becoming anxious about the stock market.

USA crude oil futures settled almost 2 percent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers. Brent crude was up 80 cents at $53.50 a barrel and US crude was up 60 cents and back up to $50. Prices earlier rose to $1,282.40 an ounce, the highest since June 14.

Spot gold XAU= added 1.3 percent to $1,277.15 an ounce.