Tech companies leads broad slide in United States stocks; oil slumps

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Shares, Dollar Slip as US-North Korea Tensions Escalate

The ongoing political crisis that has seen North Korea state it was seeking to strike the US Pacific island territory of Guam within days, prompted gold speculator Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter to say he believed gold was on the cusp on a significant break out. Geopolitical risks can boost demand for assets considered safe-haven investments, such as gold.

Besides, persistent buying by local jewellers at domestic spot market stoked the uptrend.

The market jitters gave investors an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term United States stock market volatility, hit its highest mark since November 8, when Mr Trump was elected President of the US.

The dollar was further weighed on Friday by the soft US inflation data.

US stock indexes opened lower on Wednesday as investors turned risk averse.

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content.

In other news, U.S. wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent to 7,306, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,058.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 16.71 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,351.68 as of 11:20 a.m. Gold prices touched their highest level in more than two months at US$1,285.76 an ounce.

Wall Street was poised for a soft opening with S&P futures and Dow futures both down 0.2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.19 per cent.

Shares in several other big media companies also declined.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.

Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two months, while the Swiss franc increased by more than 1% against the USA dollar and saw its biggest one-day gain against the euro in more than two and a half years. Humana Inc. rose $4.74, or 1.9 percent, to $254.96.

Gold added $3.90 to settle at $1,294 an ounce. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent, while Japan was closed on a public holiday.

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday, and Asian markets fell sharply, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropping 2%.

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