Dow slips 100 points as tensions with N.Korea escalate

A man walks by a TV screen showing a local news program with a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Seoul Train Station in Seoul South Korea Wednesday Aug. 9 2017

Trump warned North Korea again 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. In Asia, markets were mostly lower after disappointing Chinese trade data.

The US dollar also slipped 0.26 per cent lower against the yen to 110.01 yen.

Technology and consumer-focused companies helped lift US stocks higher Tuesday, steering the market indexes further into record territory.

All three United States indices fell sharply, with the broad-based S&P 500 tumbling 1.5 percent. Sony Corp. shares in Tokyo dropped 1.6 percent.

Trump's remarks on Tuesday that North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" pushed Wall Street lower on Tuesday and drove up the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility on the S&P 500 higher.

Tensions between North Korea and the USA have intensified in recent days after Trump warned of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats.

"I would expect the markets to react again pretty negatively to any more tough talk from either side, but for now, everybody seems to have settled down, and we'll see what happens".

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Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.20 percent.

Against the tense backdrop, the South Korean won extended its losses on Thursday and touched its lowest level against the dollar in about a month. The Dow lost 36 points or -0.17%, the S&P 500 slipped just -0.04% and Nasdaq fell -0.28%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ticked up 0.2% to 1,416.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent 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.

Global stock markets are firmly in the red after another escalation of tensions between North Korea and the United States. Meanwhile, the price of gold, a safe haven for nervous investors, climbed $16 or 1.28 percent to $1,278.70 per ounce at noon.

"It's wonderful when you consider the headlines just how calm the equity markets are, how they've taken things in their stride", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $48.47 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. USA -traded Nikkei futures fell 2 percent to their lowest since mid-May.

"Standard safe haven instruments are still being preferred at this point, with the yen well bid against its peers and gold a little higher after seeing strong gains on Wednesday, while equities are getting no love", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, at Oanda.

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