Markets slide, dollar slumps as North Korea fears spike

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Speculative positions in US gold futures remain subdued, said UBS strategist Joni Teves. Oil also regained momentum as data pointed to declining USA inventories.

After the bell, Twenty-First Century Fox shares were up 0.7 percent following the release of its results.

South Korean shares fell to an 11-week low on Friday and the won extended this week's slide as President Donald Trump warned North Korea again not to strike Guam or U.S. allies.

These have ranged from an investigation into Russia's possible interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, to concerns about China's risky debt levels, to stubbornly low inflation in the U.S.

Mr Trump earlier this week said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the US.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 22,027.25, down 0.3 percent.

The Australian dollar, which rose to a 19-month high near 90.00 yen late in July, was down 0.6% at 86.77 yen after slipping to a one-month low of 86.23 yen. U.S. PPI came in at -0.1%, below the 0.1% forecast and previous read. US gold futures GCcv1 gained 0.09 percent to $1,265.80 an ounce.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities.

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The yen is perceived as a safe haven because Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and investors there have tended to repatriate funds in times of crisis. Pyongyang said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a US territory in the Pacific that has a USA military base.

U.S. Treasury yields fell to as low as 2.197 percent, their lowest level since June 28 overnight.

Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren both posted better-than-expected earnings before the bell Tuesday, sending their stocks higher by 21.5 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 per cent to 19,738.71 and Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 per cent to 2,368.39.

The dollar index .DXY rose 0.23 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.39 percent to $1.1747. Viacom slid 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.84.

The focus on North Korea has largely overshadowed a Labor Department report showing an unexpected drop in US producer prices in the month of July.

While gold, a safe-haven favorite, pared some gains, it was last up 1.2 percent, at around its highest since mid-June.

In commodities trading, United States crude oil was wallowing around $49 to the barrel amid speculation that a predicted gain in American output will offset OPEC-led efforts to trim a global glut. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $4.47, or 1 percent, to $474.15. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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