Sat Aug 12, 2017 09:03AM
The recent escalation in the Korean crisis has dampened interest in risk assets such as equities and industrial commodities.
The recent escalation in the Korean crisis has dampened interest in risk assets such as equities and industrial commodities.

US President Donald Trump’s brinkmanship in the escalating tensions with North Korea has taken a heavy toll on global markets, wiping $1 trillion off the value of shares worldwide.

US stocks on Friday ended with their worst weekly loss since March after Trump ratcheted up his fiery rhetoric, saying in a tweet: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded” against North Korea.

A day earlier, the Standard & Poor's 500 index posted its biggest single-day drop in nearly three months following Trump’s warning to unleash "fire and fury" if Pyongyang continued its nuclear weapons expansion.

North Korea responded to the threat with a promise to land missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.   

Nervous traders have scrambled to take refuge in traditional safe havens such as gold, silver, bonds, Japanese yen and Swiss franc, dampening interest in risk assets such as equities and industrial commodities.

Gold has risen to its highest level in almost two months, while the Swiss franc has powered against the US dollar and seen its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years.

The yen has also registered its biggest weekly gain since May against the dollar amid speculation that investors of Japan, as the biggest creditor nation, would repatriate their funds should a war break out.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday warded off - at least for now – the prospect of massive losses on the Wall Street market after stressing that there was “no imminent threat of war” and that Americans could “sleep well at night.”

However, his boss’s unpredictable behavior is unlikely to leave nervous traders pacified and the market doldrums may persist.

US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his fiery rhetoric on Friday, saying "military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded” against North Korea 

On Friday, an MSCI index of stocks across the globe posted its largest weekly drop since the week before Trump won the US presidential election in November.

Trump’s outbursts have chiefly affected Asian markets, with the tense mood dragging shares in the continent lower.

Several indexes closed lower overnight. According to the Associated Press, South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent, while Japan was closed on a public holiday.