MOSCOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russian stock indexes fell on Friday as global risk aversion, sparked by geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea, boosted demand for safe haven assets, such as gold.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Thursday not to strike Guam or U.S. allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
“U.S.-North Korean military tensions continued to dominate sentiment, pushing U.S. bond yields down and increasing the price of gold,” analysts at VTB Capital said in a note.
The price of gold, a universal safe haven asset, has risen nearly 3 percent over the past four days, hovering at $1,290 per ounce, its highest since early June.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 1.5 percent at 1,013 points as of 0834 GMT, taking its year-to-date loss to 12 percent. Its rouble-based peer MICEX shed 1.2 percent to 1,937 points, its lowest since Aug. 1.
Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang added to pressure from lower oil prices. Brent crude futures lost 0.8 percent to $51.5 per barrel on persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.
The rouble, however, withstood the pressure thanks to global demand for Russia’s still high-yielding bonds as well as monthly tax payments due from next week. Tax duties usually prompt export-focused companies to convert part of their foreign currency revenues to meet local liabilities.
The rouble was little changed at 60.1 against the dollar and firmed 0.05 percent to 70.7 versus the euro .
For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Mark Trevelyan)