US Stocks Poised for Weekly Decline

A man looks at an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo Japan

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that US threats from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury", which prompted North Korea to say it was considering plans for a missile strike on the USA pacific territory of Guam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 204.69 points, or 0.93 percent, at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 35.81 points, or 1.45 percent, to end the session at 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 135.46 points, or 2.13 percent, to 6,216.87.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 209,543 contracts traded.

A Labour Department report showed its producer price index posted a surprise drop in July, down 0.1 percent for the largest slide in nearly a year.

The threat followed U.S. President Donald Trump's warning on Tuesday that any threats by Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Banks .SX7P also fell 1.6 percent, with the sector posting its worst week in nine months.

North Korea has since threatened to launch missiles at the USA territory of Guam, and the country previously threatened "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the US mainland".

On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.2% to flit around the 1.30 USA dollar mark, with the greenback falling in response to the latest United States inflation data. Travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 2.7 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.6 percent, while Germany's DAX Index retreated 1.1 percent and France's CAC 40 Index gave up 1.4 percent.

Safe havens benefited from the move away from stocks - gold rising again to around $1,290 an ounce after surging 1.3 percent Wednesday - but other risky assets such as oil and copper held their price.

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In a note to investors, Paul Christopher, head global market strategist, and Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation, suggest, "the threat of a nuclear weapon is certainly more serious than previous threats, but that threat also may increase the probability of a diplomatic solution".

The dollar pared gains slightly after Trump's North Korea comments, still supported by the job market data which underscored the view that the Federal Reserve has ammunition to continue on its tighter monetary policy path.

Priceline Group dropped 8 percent after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

With most companies having reported second-quarter earnings, a divergence was increasingly visible between euro zone corporates, whose earnings are dented by a stronger euro, and the broader pan-European index.

Office Depot tumbled 22.4 percent after the office supplies retailer's quarterly results came in below estimates.

US trading volume has been low with summer setting in and Congress expected to be in recess until September 5.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract advanced 20 cents to $49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to $2.95 per mmBTU.

USA crude oil tumbled 2% to $48.59/bbl, failing to hold above $50 as a report from OPEC showed crude production among the group's members rose in July.

The U.S. dollar fell to 110.48 yen from 110.72 yen late Monday.

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