Stocks in London closed lower Wednesday as escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea had investors moving towards safe havens such as gold, with gold miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo ending the day as the best performers in the FTSE 100.
Speaking live on state television at a forum for Russian students, Lavrov encouraged Pyongyang and Washington to sign up to a joint Russian-Chinese plan, under which North Korea would freeze its missile tests and the United States and South Korea would impose a moratorium on large-scale military exercises.
Globally, France's CAC 40 share index fell 1.5 percent by the afternoon; Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent.
The benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled more than 1 percent on Thursday, only the third time this year it has fallen that much, while the Nasdaq shed more than 2 percent.
The limited fall in the price of Asian stocks suggests that stockholders are not unduly alarmed, experts said.
In other words, investors are dumping stocks and buying bonds, which many view as a safe haven in times of turmoil.
Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar jumped briefly after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Thursday it still expected inflation to rise gradually as capacity pressures increase, thwarting some expectations it would strike a more dovish tone given recent soft economic data.
Hong Kong was down 1.1%.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.98 yen from 110.06 late Wednesday in Asia.
Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.
An Associated Press report that the US and North Korea have been engaged in back channel talks (https://apnews.com/686ac7c761694b28b67793a1d8297145?link=mktw) for several months even as they exchange incendiary threats may also help to soothe jitters.
Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July. The Nasdaq composite lost 18 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.
Gold held steady at two-month high with spot gold rising 0.1 percent to $1,287.83 per ounce, putting the precious metal on pace for its biggest weekly gains since April. The stock fell $169 to $1,879.98. Humana rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96. Recent months have seen a strong contraction in United States crude stocks, with driving season clearly raising demand and subsequently reducing the overcapacity that has been evident in recent years.
The statement Friday does not mention any specific actions China would be willing to take, although some Chinese scholars and state media have called on Beijing to take on a shuttle diplomacy role to facilitate talks between the US and North Korea.
U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
Against the dollar, the franc CHF= surged 0.6 percent to 0.9688 francs, reversing a two-week losing streak.
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