Asian stocks fall as North Korea, U.S. tensions escalate

LBO-Stock-Market-Report

Aug 09, 2017 (LBO) – Asian stocks fell on Wednesday after U.S. and North Korea exchanged further threats amid escalating tensions between the two nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said aggression would be met with “fire and fury,” while North Korea said it’s examining an operational plan for firing a ballistic missile toward Guam.

South Korea’s Kospi index was down 0.83 percent, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.22 percent, while Shanghai’s stock exchange dipped 0.3 percent.

The dollar fell 0.39 percent against the yen. Gold climbed 0.63 percent, while Brent Crude dipped 0.52 percent to $51.87 a barrel.

The Washington Post, citing a Defense Intelligence Agency analysis, said Pyongyang has successfully developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could fit onto its missiles, which contributed to the market drop.

A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan against Guam will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment.”

The consequences of any U.S. strike could be catastrophic for neighboring countries such as South Korea and Japan where thousands of U.S. military personnel are stationed.