US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions

North Korea threats; China aluminum; Disney ditches Netflix

"Although it is considered highly unlikely that this tension will escalate into a nuclear war, the market still needs to see how President Trump will eventually deal with his advocating "fire and fury" against North Korea's threat", said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. North Korea responded to Trump's comments, claiming that it was "carefully examining" a strike on U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 36.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,048.70.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 1.6 percent to 5,135 while Germany's DAX was down 1.3 percent at 12,133.

Stock-index futures in Australia, South Korea and Hong Kong indicated losses for the start of Friday trading after the S&P 500 Index halted an unprecedented stretch of calm on American equity markets and the CBOE Volatility Index soared 44 percent.

Mounting tensions between the USA and North Korea have weighed on equity markets, sending the majority of the Asian and European bourses into red territory and inducing a spike in volatility.

The yellow metal climbed to $1,285/oz as tensions rose this week, the best level in about two months, driving year-to-date gains to around 11.5%.

Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries as investors bought safe-haven assets.

Few showers, thunderstorm possible later
Tuesday - Mostly sunny with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high in the low 80s. Saturday: Mostly cloudy, humid, scattered showers/thunderstorms (especially in the morning).

Hong Kong stocks dipped sharply at the open: Falls in China have been nearly doubled by Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, which were down by 1.2% shortly after the index opened at 11:30am AEST.

On Thursday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley offered a positive outlook for the USA economy, job market and inflation, saying better conditions would help support the most vulnerable Americans. The share price of G4S, the world's largest security group, fell 5.38% amid its organic growth cooling down in emerging markets.

"The overnight Korean news has prompted some unwinding of the cheapening trades on the franc that has been going on for some time and though positioning is not stretched by any means, the franc's strength may have room to run", said Timothy Graf, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets in London. The Nasdaq composite fell 35 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,336.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 15 cents to $49.02 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 16 cents to $52.30 in London.

USA crude rose 0.12 percent to $49.23 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.33, up 0.36 percent on the day.

Materials, a sector that includes gold producers and other resource-based companies, was the lone gainer among the index's 10 main sectors, rising 0.7 per cent. It rose $16, or 1.3 percent, to $1,278.60 an ounce. Britain's FTSE 100 sank 0.7 percent to 7,447.21. The Dow shed 0.2 percent.

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