We may all be facing the threat of nuclear extinction, but some investors were making lemonade out of life's lemons by piling into safe haven assets, pushing up the price of gold.
My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
...Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
Major stock indices all edged lower, with the FTSE 100 dropping 0.6 per cent in mid-afternoon trading, while the Cac 40 fell 1.6 per cent and the Dax fell 1.3 per cent. Across the pond, both the Dow Jones index and the S&P 500 edged 0.3 per cent lower in the first minutes of trading.
Meanwhile, the Swiss franc rose 0.9 per cent against the dollar, to $1.0361.
Gold futures rose 1.22 per cent to $1,278, pushing London-listed gold miners higher. Fresnillo and Randgold Resources led the FTSE 100, rising five per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively, while Acacia Mining shot to the top of the FSTE 250, rising 9.4 per cent.
Elsewhere, defence contractors also rose, with BAE systems creeping up 0.7 per cent, while FTSE 250-listed Qinetiq rose 1.1 per cent.
"Of course, this could end up being a flash in the pan, so we don’t think that fund managers and traders are going to rush into changing their portfolio allocations just yet, they will want to see how things play out in the coming days," pointed out Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index.
"However, if the rhetoric does ramp up, even without actual nuclear follow through, this could spook the market and make it hard for stock indices to rally into late summer due to the fears for global trade and global growth."