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Morning Call For Friday, August 11


Sep E-mini S&Ps (ESU17 -0.14%) this morning are down -0.17% at a 4-week low and European stocks are down -0.87% at a 4-3/4 month low as volatility surges as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalate. The VIX volatility index soared to a 9-month high as global markets decline on concern that the saber rattling between North Korea and the U.S. may escalate to military confrontation. President Trump warned North Korea not to follow through with a missile test near Guam and Japan move missile interceptors into place on the west side of Japan in response to the North Korean threats. Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull said Australia would back the U.S. if North Korea attacked, while China called on the U.S. and North Korea to avoid taking the "old road" of taking turns to escalate tensions. Precious metals are the beneficiary of the global market selloff with Dec COMEX gold (GCZ17 +0.24%) up +0.24% at a 2-month high on increased safe-haven demand. Asian stocks settled lower: Japan and Taiwan closed for holiday, Hong Kong -2.04%, China -1.63%, Australia -1.18%, Singapore -1.31%, South Korea -1.83%, India -1.01%.

The dollar index (DXY00 unch) is up +0.03%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.07%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.10% at a new 1-3/4 month low as the slump in global markets boosts safe-haven demand for the yen.

Sep 10-year T-note prices (ZNU17 +0.11%) are up +6.5 ticks at a 6-week high as investors flock to the safety of government debt from the rising tensions over North Korea.

An editorial published in the state-controlled Global Times said that China should stay neutral if North Korea provoked the U.S. into war and that China would intervene if the U.S. and South Korea sought to attack North Korea and topple the regime. The Chinese editorial also said that "China will strengthen coordination with Russia, and to push forward...