Saber rattling between the United States and North Korea sent stock markets lower on Wednesday as investors shifted their money into assets considered to be havens in times of trouble.
Stocks in the United States opened lower, following on from declines in Europe and Asia earlier in the day. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent in early trading in New York, while the Nasdaq dropped nearly 1 percent. The declines came after stock markets in Britain, France and Germany fell in the European afternoon, and share indexes in Japan and South Korea closed down.
Investors appeared to be moving their money into the relative safety of bond markets. Yields on 10-year Treasuries, as well as British and European bonds, which move inversely to the price, were lower on Wednesday morning. The price of gold, which tends to perform well in times of high tension, was also up.
The weaker markets followed President Trump’s warning to North Korea that it would see “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continued to threaten the United States. Several hours later, North Korea said it was considering a strike that would create “an enveloping fire” around Guam, the Pacific island where the United States stations military personnel.