Dollar and South Korean Won Slip Amid North Korea Tensions

People walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo

United States stock futures were marginally softer on Friday.

U.S. stocks joined the downward trend after investors were left rattled by President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea.

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.

The Nasdaq, Wall Street's home to many high profile tech companies, finished the day down more than 2%.

"It's been a bit of a roller coaster this week, with all the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea", said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

"North Korea is being used as a reason to sell Japanese stocks, just as it was used yesterday in the U.S.", said Soichiro Monji from Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR were last up 12/32 in price to yield 2.201 percent, from 2.242 percent late on Wednesday.

The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 per cent drop.

United States markets held steady in trade on Friday, with the Dow Jones up 0.2%.

The Shanghai Composite added 0.08% and the Shenzhen Composite inched higher by 0.07%.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term USA stock market volatility, hit its highest mark since November 8, when Trump was elected president. The stock fell 85 cents to $12.76. The stock is up 54% so far this year.

The S&P's record close on August 7 likely helped fuel its latest sell-off.

US equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

The yen firmed slightly against the dollar early on Wednesday after North Korea said it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Still, the market has had several fits and starts over the past few months.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Risk aversion is once again the name of the game.as geopolitical tensions mount and investors head for cover in the traditional safe havens". It's still the highest it's been since May.

Sterling slipped below $1.30, close to a two-and-a-half-week low but it strengthened against the euro by 0.2%, following Tuesday's 10-month low.

The all-important July inflation numbers out of the U.S. failed to satisfy dollar bulls' hopes of strongly putting a Fed rate hike later in the year back on the table. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike.

Canadian Tire Corp Ltd rose 3.4 percent to C$146.65.

They were down 0.7 percent at $48.24 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.7 percent. Seagate shares rose 74 cents to $32.29.

The yen held steady against the dollar, taking a breather after having risen on Wednesday to its highest level in almost eight weeks.

Shares of Kohl's were up 3.96 percent in premarket trading after the department store operator reported a rise in quarterly profit. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter.

Netflix and red hot chip company Nvidia dropped around 4%.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 39 cents to $49.56 United States per barrel, September natural gas advanced six cents at $2.88 USA per mmBTU and September copper declined two cents at $2.93 U.S. a pound.

USA gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce.

The Chinese volatility gauge jumped by the most since January 2016 to its highest level in more than seven months. Silver gained 1 cent to $17.07 an ounce.

Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT). Interestingly though, it soon after managed to more than make up for its losses relative to the Japanese and British currencies, while it recovered a significant portion of its losses versus the euro as well.

Across Europe, the Cac 40 in France slid 1.1% while Germany's Dax was flat.

The FTSE 100 firm announced in March previous year that it would run its US-based asset management operation, its UK-based wealth unit, an emerging markets division and Nedbank in South Africa as separate businesses.

In Asia, several indexes closed lower overnight.

The UK blue-chip index fell 80 points, or 1.1%, to 7,417, and is now down 128 points over the last two sessions, as the standoff between the U.S. and North Korea has escalated. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

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