LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - World stocks fell for a third day on Thursday and investors moved back into the Swiss franc, yen and gold as North Korea ratcheted up tensions with the United States with a threat to land a missile just short of the USA territory of Guam.
This was followed by threats from North Korea of a strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, a small island of less than 170,000 people about 2,000km south of Japan. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 14.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,858.32. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 59 cents to $53.29.
Japanese financial markets will be closed Friday for a national holiday.
Tensions between North Korea and the US have intensified in recent days after Trump warned of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats.
The dollar hit an eight-week low against the Japanese yen on Thursday, as the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea drove investors to seek safety in assets viewed as less risky.
North Korea: While at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Trump pledged North Korea would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" amid the country's latest nuclear threats. Shares of Macy's lost almost 10% and Kohl's fell 6.9%.
USD/JPY (¥109.84) fell to a fresh two-month low of ¥109.65, while USD/CHF was lower by over -1% to test below €0.9630, while EUR/CHF cross edged away from its recent three-month highs atop of €1.15 to dip below the psychological €1.13 level. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index fell around 1.2% each to finish at 5,693.10 and 5,743.50, respectively. The S&P 500 fell 1% Thursday but is still up around 9% so far this year. They are expected to cut North Korea's export revenues by one third.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.47 percent while mainland markets traded marginally higher.
Across Europe, the Cac 40 in France slid 1.1% while Germany's Dax was flat.
Note: U.S crude inventories last week fell by -7.8m barrels, more than expected, but gasoline inventories rose unexpectedly.
French consumer prices climbed 0.7% year-on-year in July, the same rate as seen in June and in line with the preliminary estimate.
Oil also regained momentum as data pointed to declining USA inventories.
Publishing company News Corp (NWSA) reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings that beat estimates, although its revenues fell short.
FED WATCH: Investors looked ahead to an appearance Thursday by Bill Dudley, president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of NY, for signs of the Fed's outlook on the economy.