United States stocks close slightly lower, trimming earlier losses

Shares slip, yen and gold gain as Korea tensions escalate

Trump's 'fire and fury' threat, N. Korea response hit global stocks

US stocks closed lower on Tuesday after a late afternoon selling spree as investors fled for safety after Trump's vow to respond aggressively to any North Korean threats.

On the week, the Dow Jones lost 0.9 %; the S&P 500 has dropped 1.4 per cent, its biggest weekly decline in more than four months.

Technology companies led USA stocks slightly higher in afternoon trading Friday, recouping some of the losses from the day before. Banks and department store shares also were among the big decliners. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slipped less than 1 point to 1,371.

"What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the United States and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it", said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney, as quoted by Reuters.

"Heightened geopolitical risks overnight have seen the markets flip from risk-on to risk-off and we have to wait and see how long this move runs before adding some positions", said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.01 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.26 percent for a weekly loss of 1.6 percent, the largest since the week to November 4. At 2:19pm BST, the Comex September silver futures contract was up 2.06% or 35 cents to $17.21 an ounce, while spot platinum rose 0.80% or $7.81 to $983.26 an ounce.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.55 percent, its biggest one-day loss since mid-December. Rival TripAdvisor also slumped after its latest quarterly report showed that online and transaction revenue growth fell sharply.

China's Shanghai Composite Index plunged 51.94 points or 1.6% to 3,209.80, as investors continued to book profits in cyclical sectors. All the indexes are down for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.26 percent.

Stocks ended more than one percent down in Seoul while the won slumped to a three-week low against the dollar as the USA president and South Korea's volatile neighbor dramatically ramped up their war of words.

USA crude shed 20 cents to $48.97 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 26 cents to $51.88 a barrel. Other regional East Asian financial markets would also be vulnerable, particularly Japanese financial markets, with risks of disruption to Northeast Asian regional trade and investment flows and manufacturing supply chains.

Standard at the popular here jumped by 0.5 per cent or Rs 140 to close at Rs 29,210 per 10g on Friday, a 2.5 per cent gain during the week. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent.

In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 36 cents to $48.23 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 40 cents to $51.50 per barrel in London.

In currencies, the yen strengthened 0.64 per cent versus the greenback at 109.37 per dollar.

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