Stocks tumbled today after President Donald J. Trump said his "fire and fury" comment to North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough". When the rhetoric between the two leaders heated up, investors were scurrying for safe haven currencies, including the Yen and the Swiss Franc, which surged about 1.1% on Wednesday.
Spot gold added 0.7 per cent to $1,285.70 an ounce. But some investors welcomed the dip in the sector, which has been S&P's leading gainer so far this year. The precious metal had gained Rs 670 in last three days.
The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 66.36 points, or 0.9%, to 7,323.58 in early trade, having dropped 1.4% on Thursday.
Canada's main stock index posted its lowest close in five weeks on Friday, weighed by a move lower in financials and a fall in shares of auto parts maker Magna International Inc despite reporting better-than-forecast quarterly profit.
Later on Friday, investors will look to US July consumer price data for hints on the Fed's policy outlook and near-term moves in the dollar.
Disappointing earnings also helped pull the market lower Wednesday.
In the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 closed down 0.59%, or 44.67 points, at 7498, broadly in line with negative trends in European markets.
A slight rise in a measure of US consumer prices pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year, which would be favorable to equity investors.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 39.76 points, or 1.69 percent, to 2,319.71. Gold prices touched their highest level in more than two months at US$1,285.76 an ounce.
Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two months, while the Swiss franc increased by more than 1% against the U.S. dollar and saw its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years.
Until then, Wall Street surprised by its low volatility, wrote on Tuesday.
Emerging market stocks lost 1.27 percent. Humana Inc. rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96. Financial companies and department store operators were among the big decliners.
But then oil prices succumbed to the overall selling pressure for risky assets, aided by an OPEC report showing crude production by cartel members increased slightly in July, including Saudi Arabia, which had championed efforts by the organization and its allies to extend an output freeze.
"Gold, one of the first ports of call in times of investor anxiety, is now trading 0.56% higher at US$1268/oz", he said.
Silver added 0.4% to $17.15 USA per ounce after hitting $17.24, its highest since June 14, in the previous session. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 percent.