The stage was set for the USA indexes to go lower early Wednesday as investors around the world reacted to the rising war of words between the US and North Korea, pushing global market indexes lower.
FIRE AND FURY: Keeping up his tough talk, Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.
The CBOE volatility index extends advance after Thursday's spike while the "Fear Gauge" is now at its highest point since the November election.
Such tensions remained high, with North Korea's state media saying on Thursday that North Korea will develop a plan by mid-August to launch intermediate-range missiles at the US territory of Guam. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent.
Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.
Gold, another classic safe haven asset, was trading at around $1,285 per ounce, up more than two per cent this week and near a nine-week high. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2 percent. S&P futures fell 0.2 percent while Dow futures also lost 0.2 percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 0.3 percent, to 1,410.15.
Among the gainers on the rising tensions over the Korean Peninsula, the yen is up 0.3 percent at 110 to the dollar while the Swiss franc has gained 0.6 percent.
In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months.
Stocks ended more than one percent down in Seoul while the won slumped to a three-week low against the dollar as the USA president and South Korea's volatile neighbor dramatically ramped up their war of words. Meanwhile, after jumping $10.80 to $1,290.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $6.50 to $1,296.60 an ounce. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.9 basis points to 2.212%. Brent crude, used to price global oils, was down 17 cents to $51.73 a barrel in London. Seagate Technology was up 2.2 percent.
MSCI's main index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was last down 0.6 percent.
Macy's M.N shares closed down 10.2 per cent and Kohl's KSS.N fell nearly 6 per cent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off.
The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5 percent to around 109.70 per dollar. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.826 compared to yesterday's $1.1772.