North Korea tensions are set to cause a stir on Wall Street

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Instead, investors headed for safe havens, such as gold, which gained as much as 1.2% - a near two-month high - in Wednesday trading.

"President Trump's threat to rain down "fire and fury" on North Korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire", Humphrey wrote.

Weakness in oil prices continued for the third day as concerns persist over OPEC cuts. "What's happened in North Korea is enough to do that".

Wall Street got bathed in a sea of red Thursday amid mounting tensions between the USA and North Korea.

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 USA territory of Guam. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2. The index dropped -1.3% overnight, the weakest closing level since May 31, but defence equipment makers attracted buyers. The stock fell $3.30 to $30.09.

In Hong Kong, shares ended lower, but developers provided support. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was almost flat at 2,474.02. Snap's earnings missed forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-ceos-promise-cant-overcome-declining-ad-rates-stock-heads-toward-new-lows-after-earnings-2017-08-10) Thursday, and the social-messaging company disclosed that average ad prices fell in the second quarter. The blue-chip CSI300 was unchanged, while the Shanghai Composite Index dipped -0.2%.

The option-based indicator, which was mostly between 120-140 in July, rose to 140.05 on Wednesday.

"Amid tensions in the global arena, it's hard to seek higher prices ahead of three days of holidays", Kawaguchi added.

J.C. Penney Co.(JCP) is on tap to report quarterly earnings ahead of the market open.

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The Dow slid as declines in shares of Apple and those of Goldman Sachs, recently down 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of McDonald's and those of Coca-Cola, recently up 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

The Australian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 59 cents to $53.29. The stock lost $142.20 to $1,906.80. The post meeting joint statement said the "conclusions reached would help boost compliance".

US gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,291.80 per ounce.

Trump told reporters further threats from North Korea would be "met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before".

Such an outcome would normally boost the US dollar, Spivak said in a note.

"The dollar-yen's downside is expected above 108 yen for now".

Insurers and banks، which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds، were the two worst performers on the board after U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday، with the yields on the benchmark 10-year note hitting a six-week low.

It's only natural that risk aversion currencies have benefited now that President Trump has raised his rhetoric against North Korea to an unprecedented level.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC 40 fell 1.5 per cent to 5,141.37 points and Germany's DAX lost 1.2 per cent to 12,144.54.

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