Futures lower as North Korea tensions rise


Gold prices climbed 1 percent to their highest in nearly a year on Monday after North Korea's latest and most powerful nuclear test drove investors towards safe-haven assets.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime's stand-off with the United States and its allies.

"It's definitely North Korea".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 73.02 points, or 0.33 percent, to 21,914.54. Rockwell shares were up 0.87 percent. "It's partly Irma. You are looking at another possible hit to our economy", said Karl Haeling, vice president at Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg in NY.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.11 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.27 percent. Earlier on Tuesday the yield hit 2.065 percent, its lowest since November 10.

The escalating tensions prompted investors to dump assets seen as riskier, such as stocks and high yielding currencies, and flock to traditional safe-haven assets like the, sovereign bonds and bullion.

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 25, 2015.

A 1-kilogram silver bar was trading at around 840,000 won ($742), about one-70th the price of a gold bar of the same weight, which amounts to 56 million won.

The euro edged up 0.13 percent to $1.1911 as signs of rising inflation pressure in euro zone data put the focus back on Thursday's European Central Bank meeting and its plans to reduce its stimulus program.

Spot gold had risen just over 1 percent to $1,338.36 per ounce by 0708 GMT, after earlier touching its strongest level since late September at $1,339.47. The December futures contract rose $9, or 0.7%, to close at $1,339.40 a troy ounce.

Adding to concern on the Korean peninsula, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that Pyongyang is making preparations for the possible launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile.

Speaking at a summit of the world's biggest emerging economies in China, Russian President Vladimir Putin again warned that threatening military action against North Korea could trigger "a global catastrophe".

U.S. gasoline prices were 3.15 percent lower at US$1.69 per gallon.