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North Korea tensions continue to weigh on global stocks

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North Korea tensions continue to weigh on global stocks

Stock markets around the world continued their downward slide after US President Donald Trump made another verbal attack on North Korea.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 14 points, a gain of 0.07 percent, the Nasdaq composite rose almost 40 points or 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3 points or 0.13 percent.

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.

The modest rebound came at the end of a turbulent week on Wall Street as escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea rattled global markets.

Asian stocks slumped on Friday as tensions ramped up between the US and North Korea, sending investors fleeing to less risky assets such as gold, the yen and USA government bonds.

The yen tends to benefit during times of geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption that Japanese investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

The utilities index .SPLRCU , often seen as a bond proxy because of its companies' slow reliable growth and high dividends, was the only S&P sector that ended the day up, showing a 0.25 percent gain. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

"North Korea will blow over and given the sentiment, we could see a rally back to new highs" by the end of next week, Michael Block, chief market strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, wrote in a report on Friday.

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The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft United States inflation data.

It all led to a loss of mojo for the Australian dollar, which slipped below 79 cents against the U.S. dollar in afternoon trade.

Biotechnology, tobacco, and transportation stocks also saw considerable strength, while steel stocks extended a recent move to the downside.

Geopolitics aside, investors were also focused on United States economic data and monetary policy, following the release of inflation data, Erlam said. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2 basis points at 2.192 percent.

The market's main backstop in times of strain, gold, hit a two-month high of $1,282 an ounce amid the nervousness. Both the Nasdaq and the Russell are set for their third straight weekly decline. To Reuters citing Peter Kenny, in charge of the market strategy in Global Markets Advisory Group, " market participants are looking for any reason for a reset of course.

US crude rose 0.43 percent to $48.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent on the day.

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