TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit its lowest close in a month on Thursday as oil prices fell and investors sought refuge in safe-haven assets amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. Indexes were up for their first day in four.
An exchange of threats between North Korea and the US has jolted what has often been a quiet period of summer trading. "I think a few investors are capitulating to it".
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 36.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 22,048.7, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 18.13 points, or 0.28 percent, to 6,352.33.
Data showed US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
Earlier, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished down 1.1%, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average lost less than 0.1%.
Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index, which measures investors' expectations for swings in the S&P 500, has climbed.
Germany's DAX fared better, trading only 0.2 percent lower at 11,989.
"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw continued weakness during trading on Friday. It's still the highest it's been since May.
The price of gold also surged for the second day in a row as the December bullion contract advanced US$10.80 to US$1,290.10 an ounce.
Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control.
THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.
Government bonds rose, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note falling to 2.211%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.246% on Wednesday.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London.