Escalating tensions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear ambitions resulted in a flight to gold and other perceived safe assets throughout August and punctured a run in US stocks. But by the end of the month risk assets were doing well too.
Gold, the yen and highly-rated government bonds started out the month on a high after US President Donald Trump waded into a war of words with North Korea. Trump promised to bring "fire and fury" to the state, North Korea mooted missile strikes near the US territory of Guam, and the world grew nervous.
On 10 August 2017 gold hit a two-month high and US stocks sank – a rare dip in an otherwise stratospheric year of gains for indices including the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500. Even the recently sanguine CBOE Vix Volatility index, an indicator of investor anxiety (or lack thereof), spiked briefly.