Markets slide, dollar slumps as North Korea fears spike

Keeping up his tough talk, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face the consequences, and suggested that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.

Data showed USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, while another set showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week. Wall Street was poised for a soft opening with S&P futures and Dow futures both down 0.2 percent.

Subdued U.S. inflation has stirred doubts about the chances of another Fed interest rate hike this year, which have weighed on the dollar.

North Korea said it was completing plans to fire four intermediate - range missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.01 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.26 per cent for a weekly loss of 1.6 per cent, the largest since the week to November 4.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 per cent on Friday to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week were a relatively modest 3.2 per cent.

USA stocks were on track for their biggest weekly loss in months, shaken by disappointing earnings results and an escalation of threats between the US and North Korea.

Significant strength was also visible among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.2% gain posted by the Dow Jones Software Index.

Pressure on Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho to deliver on investment
Such expenditure has raised eyebrows in some quarters, but Guardiola insists the expensive revamp of his squad was necessary... And if they lose Philippe Coutinho between now and the end of the transfer window they won't reach the top four.

Germany's DAX dropped 0.3 percent to 12,117.07 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.3 percent to 5,132.22.

Seagate Technology gained 2.3 percent after investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the company.

The yen tends to benefit during times of geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption that Japanese investors will repatriate funds should a crisis take place.

The bigger surprise is that the cost to protect against declines in the kiwi against the US dollar for one month shot up to the most expensive levels since April.

European and Asian equity markets were mostly lower Friday on the back of simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea, but firmer prices on Wall Street helped put a floor under the losses in Europe, dealers said.

Below that level lies another key technical chart support level for the dollar at 108.13 yen, a trough the USA currency k plumbed in mid-April. The euro fell to $1.1728 from $1.1757.

And in a textbook-type cross-asset move toward safety in times of trouble, the Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the US dollar while spot gold also reached a two-month high. It was on course for a weekly rise of about 5%, the biggest such gain since July 2016.

The price of oil was also 0.3% ahead at 52.29 United States dollars a barrel, with stockpiles coming under pressure from falling crude oil imports and record processing at American refineries. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 40 cents to $52.54 in London.

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