The exchange of threats and harsh rhetoric between North Korea and Donald Trump has rattled many investors. Stock prices fell in Asia, Europe and the United States, while demand rose for safe-haven investments like gold.
Key stock indexes in Hong Kong, Germany, and France were down by one percent or more. U.S. stocks were down as much as four-tenths of a percent in Wednesday’s mid-day trading. Before Tuesday’s angry exchange of words, U.S. stocks had been setting a series of record highs.
Demand for gold, a traditional way of protecting assets in troubled times, pushed up the price for the precious metal by about one percent in Wednesday’s trading. Oil prices also posted gains.
South Korea is home to more than 50 million people and major companies like Samsung and Hyundai. World Bank data show South Korea has a $1.4 trillion economy, which is nearly two percent of global economic activity.