U.S. stocks fall as North Korea worries rise

Trump's shifting views on stock market highs

Trump's shifting views on stock market highs

"There's not a fundamental reason why what we're seeing out of North Korea right now should affect stock market prices, but it's being used as the reason to sell off right now because we've been looking for it for so long", Schiegoleit said.

A small rise in a measure of USA consumer prices pointed to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year, which would be favorable to equity investors.

"I do think I expect inflation to also start to move higher in the medium term but probably not get all the way back to 2-percent on a year-over-year basis, because, remember, we've had these very weak inflation readings for a number of month", Dudley said.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw continued weakness during trading on Friday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 percent to 5,779.20, while South Korea's Kospi fell 1.1 percent to 2,342.19.

Germany's DAX fell 1.2 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.7 percent.

USA stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, as investors turned their attention to another batch of corporate earnings, while keeping their focus on rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S.

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The Nasdaq composite also slipped 0.21%.

Reuters data show a 22 percent perceived chance for a rate hike after the Fed's December meeting.

The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 percent was May 17.

The market was waiting for US consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about future Fed decisions. Viacom slid 60 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $30.17.

Investors bought safe-haven assets such as gold, helping the precious metal touch a two-month high, and the Japanese Yen rose.

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The dollar index .DXY fell 0.32 percent, with the euro up 0.42 percent to $1.1819.

Dudley also cautioned that "it's going to take some time" for inflation to rise to the central bank's 2 percent target even as he offered a generally positive outlook for the US economy, job market and price pressures.

Commodity bloc currencies are typically sensitive to swings in market mood and proved to be so against, with the Australian Dollar leading the way lower having been stung by disappointing consumer confidence data.

The latest COT positioning data will be watched closely in late United States trading on Friday, although overall risk conditions are likely to remain the dominant short-term influence on gold prices. Biotech companies Celgene and Amgen lost 3.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

USA crude rose 0.41 percent to $48.79 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent. The Korea tensions though have seen both US and European markets this week push back expectations of when the Fed and ECB might hike interest rates.

USA gold futures for December delivery climbed 1 percent to $1,291.80 per ounce.

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