Spot gold added 0.2 percent to United States dollars 1,262.35 an ounce, pulling away from the previous session's two-week lows.
Reuters data show a 22 per cent perceived chance for a rate hike after the Fed's December meeting.
Still, the S&P and the Dow were on track to post their biggest weekly loss in about five months and the Nasdaq on course to post its biggest weekly fall in about six weeks.
With the tense mood pushing European shares down for a third day [EU] and Wall Street set to fall again [.N], global stocks .world were on course for their worst week since Donald Trump won November's USA presidential election.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92. Oil prices were headed higher.
The remarks followed a new report asserting that US intelligence has assessed that Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.01 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.12 percent.
The dollar was further weighed on Friday by the soft USA inflation data.
"But now we're seeing increasing rather than diminishing tensions", he said. 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.
"You'd need to see something more tangible than just rhetoric for a broader pullback", said Richard Steinberg, managing director at HSW Advisors, a finance team within HighTower Advisors, in NY.
"A global stock market fund will have its fair share of value and growth companies, unlike -say- the FTSE 100 index which is predominately value-orientated with its bias towards energy, mining and financial, or the Japanese TOPIX which is growth-orientated with a predominance of consumer goods companies".
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.2 percent, while the dollar dipped 0.2 percent against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart to 110.12 yen. Netflix also fell, giving up $3.19, or 1.8 percent, to $175.17.
USA producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
Disappointing economic data releases weighed on both sides of the Atlantic today with a negative goods trade balance for the United Kingdom (-0.1% versus expectations of 1.4%), higher unemployment claims from the U.S. (244,000) and also a negative month-on-month PPI figure for the USA (-0.1%). US gold futures for December delivery was mostly unchanged at $1,290.50 per ounce.
The local currency closed at 1,142.00 won against the USA dollar, down 6.80 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.
Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology's 0.80 percent rise leading the advancers.