But although US equities on Wednesday managed to close only slightly down even after Trump's warning that "fire and fury" would rain on North Korea, on Thursday the chickens came home to roost on Wall Street.
Considerable weakness is also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.1% drop by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.
Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike.
Losses in health care and consumer-focused companies pulled U.S. stocks broadly lower, snapping a 10-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,275.57 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent at 27,757.09.
The North Korea situation isn't the only thing weighing on stocks.
The Dow closed down 205 points Thursday, in its biggest decline since May 17, after U.S. President Donald Trump rejected criticism that his threats to release "fire and fury" had been too inflammatory.
Seagate Technology gained 2.3 percent after investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company. The company also said sales at its established stores declined for the fourth straight quarter.
The yield on US 10-year Treasurys slid to 2.192% Friday from 2.211% Thursday.
Semafo jumped 10.3 percent to C$2.99 after Credit Suisse raised its recommendation on the gold miner to "outperform" from "neutral" following its second-quarter results, and Finning International Inc rose 6.9 percent to C$27.63 after the heavy equipment company reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations and raised its dividend. Yields on bonds move inversely to their price.
European markets opened lower on the news, after falls from U.S. and Asian markets overnight.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.64 cents U.S., down from an average price of 78.71 cents United States on Wednesday.
The US dollar fell to 110.48 yen from 110.72 yen late on Monday. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 23 cents to 52.14 dollars a barrel in London.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent to 19,737.59 points and Seoul's Kospi fell 0.7 percent to 2,378.56.
The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index slipped 0.9 percent. The euro edged down to $1.1727 from $1.1751. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
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