TSX closes 143 points lower, gold rises amid US-North Korean tensions

TSX closes 143 points lower, gold rises amid US-North Korean tensions

The yen firmed slightly against the dollar early on Wednesday after North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. Health care companies were among the gainers. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman all rose and the Dow Jones U.S. defense index was up 1.6 percent after hitting a record high.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 57.36 points, or 0.38 percent, to 15,159.97 shortly after the open.

Tokyo's blue-chip index tumbled 1.3 percent to its lowest close since late May after the Dow's winning streak of nine straight records ended following Trump's sharp rhetoric of "fire and fury", with the main European bourses also opening lower Wednesday.

After the Pyongyang government outlined plans to fire rockets near the U.S. territory of Guam, President Trump said his previous warning "wasn't tough enough".

THE QUOTE: While the tough talk about the potential for war is scary, investors have heard it many times before. "This is a normal fluctuation, it just seems so odd because we have hardly had any volatility", said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.

Priceline Group dropped 8 percent after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

US stocks felt significant early drag, with the S&P 500 down 0.5% at the open. The stock fell $1.07 to $5.17.

Then reports started coming in about the risks being continued to be posted by North Korea as they once again launched threats against the US.

Overall, the healthcare sector slumped 3.4 percent. Twenty-First Century Fox gave up 46 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $27.57. The company booked a hefty charge and said its CFO is leaving the company.

Shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook fell more than 2% Thursday.

Spot gold XAU= added 0.7 percent to $1,286.00 an ounce.

It follows a sell-off in overnight markets, as global stocks got the jitters from rising levels of animosity between the U.S. and North Korea.

South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 fell 1.3 percent in early trade, taking its losses this week to 2.8 percent.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content. It was last up 1 percent at 1.133 per euro.

The 10-year CA10YT=RR rose 24 Canadian cents to yield 1.907 percent, while the gap between the 2-year yield and the 10-year yield narrowed by 1 basis point to 66.8 basis points, as longer-dated bonds outperformed.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption Japanese investors may repatriate their foreign holdings in times of heightened global uncertainty. They have soared over 2 per cent in the previous two sessions, and are set for a weekly gain of 2.26 per cent.

USA crude CLc1 was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slid 52 cents, or 1 per cent, to $52.18. Tahoe shares improved 14 cents, or 2.1%, to $6.69. It was down 0.1 percent at 109.07 yen JPY= , after retreating 0.8 percent on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752.

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