Gold holds gains in Asia with North Korea tension setting the tone

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These have ranged from an investigation into Russia's possible interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, to concern about China's risky debt levels, to stubbornly low inflation in the US.

"I think the market was looking for a reason to come off here", said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

Geopolitical tension persists after a North Korean army commander said "sound dialogue is not possible" with U.S. President Donald Trump and "only absolute force can work on him", according to state media.

Against the pound, the euro managed to gain margially, rising 0.06% to 0.9047.

Earlier in the session, it marked its highest since June 8 at $1,288.92 an ounce.

Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce.

In other corporate results, a number of companies reported forecast-beating numbers. The stock lost $4.15 to $102.83.

"Generally, earnings are good, .it's our view that this pullback (in stocks) should provide good buying opportunities", ABC Funds' Michael said.

August 11, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) This week's increase in tension between North Korea and the US over North Korea's nuclear missile programme is a timely warning for investors to remain diversified, affirms a leading analyst.

Tillerson's tone was in sharp contrast to that of U.S. president Donald Trump, who warned on Tuesday any North Korean threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

Separately, however, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has often emphasised the devastating costs any conflict with North Korea could have, delivered a statement underscoring his boss's language.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 USA military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000.

Trump's comments followed reports that the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

However, the S&P was still not far off record levels. "Risk aversion is still very much a concern for markets". Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 120 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,928.

The S&P 500, which had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday, was on track to post its biggest weekly decline since November.

The Swiss franc was on track for its biggest daily gain against the euro since the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015.

"Since these are the stocks that have been in the spotlight the most, they tend to have the most volatility upwards and downwards", said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Aviance Capital Management in Sarasota, Florida.

Bond and gold prices, traditional havens for nervous investors, were little changed, and the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, slid 6.7% following a 44.4% jump the day before. Major indexes in Asia closed lower.

Shares of USA department stores Kohl's and Macy's were weak after their results.

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