FTSE sell-off gathers strength on North Korea fears

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Wednesday Aug. 2 2017

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Wednesday Aug. 2 2017

President Donald Trump warned North Korea, saying that any provocation and threats "will be met with fire and fury".

"If the data continues to come in on the softer side, the market might start to price the Fed staying on hold this year", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

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).

The euro dipped 0.1 percent to $1.1733 but the single European currency has been slipping this week against the dollar, having hit a more than 2 1/2-year high of $1.1892 on August 2.

Gold prices turned higher after unease over North Korea, reversing the downward move after the jobs data lifted the dollar. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.

Pharmaceutical giant Valeant grew 2 percent after news hit the market that the company recorded lower sales in the second quarter, but saw the operating loss significantly lower. The slide deepened after Trump's remarks on North Korea aired.

NORTH KOREA: President Donald Trump warned North Korea of "fire and fury" this week in response to recent threats from Pyongyang, which said it was examining plans for attacking Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific with a military base.

Investors are increasingly nervous: The VIX volatility index, a closely-watched "fear gauge", is up 70% since Tuesday.

USA dairy group Dean Foods dropped nearly 21 percent as its quarterly earnings fell, and the stock received a downgrade from JPMorgan. Recent months have seen a strong contraction in United States crude stocks, with driving season clearly raising demand and subsequently reducing the overcapacity that has been evident in recent years.

Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street after several companies reported disappointing results.

Traders snapped up shares in companies that delivered strong quarterly results.

US stocks felt significant early drag, with the S&P 500 down 0.5% at the open.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 per cent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

Substantial weakness was also visible among internet stocks, as reflected by the 2.8% slump by the Dow Jones Internet Index.

United States job openings jumped to a record high in June, outpacing hiring, the latest indication that companies are having trouble finding qualified workers. U.S. crude was down 0.9 per cent at $48.16 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.9 per cent. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel overnight.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 1 cent to $1.62 a gallon. The euro fell to $1.1728 from $1.1757. Silver gained 1 cent to $17.07 an ounce.

Revenue rose 13% in the period, or 6.2% higher at constant currency to GBP3.97 billion from GBP3.53 billion, but G4S said it is still expecting annual revenue in 2017 to grow only by 4.0% to 6.0%. US gold futures gained 0.26 percent to $1,293.50 an ounce. The mood then hit Europe, where Frankfurt's DAX dropped 1.1% and the CAC-40 in Paris fell 1.4%.

Nordstrom also bumped up its full-year earnings to between $2.85 and $3, raising forecasts on the low-end by a dime.

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