Equities fall on rising tension between US & North Korea

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

Major earnings and North Korea worries set to claim the limelight on Wall Street

USA stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday, as investors focus on rising geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea, and get ready to pore over another slew of corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 22,048.70) ended with a loss of 36.6 points, or 0.2%. In the previous session, USA stocks finished in the red.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell back 1.3 percent, driven by losses in the commodity sector.

Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 29,187 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).

The North's latest threat came as US President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that North Korea will be met with "fire and fury" should it stick to ambitions to hit the US with ballistic missiles.

Cracks are showing in what has been a virtually non-stop US equity rally after a rapid escalation of tension between North Korea and the United States this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.22 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

The price of gold, a universal safe haven asset, has risen almost 3 percent over the past four days, hovering at $1,290 per ounce, its highest since early June.

US stocks moved lower in morning trading Wednesday as traders weighed the growing tensions between the USA and North Korea.

The Russian dollar-traded index RTS was down 1.49 percent, and ruble-traded MICEX fell 1.29 percent by midday.

Valeant's stock, which rallied a day before following quarterly results, sank 9.6 percent to C$17.85 after it said its subsidiaries in Australia were the subject of a tax audit. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.2 per cent to C$68.02, while Quebecor Inc added 4.3 per cent to C$45.20 and Canadian Tire Corp Ltd climbed 5.7 per cent to C$149.89.

Separately, US producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year, weighed down by declining costs for services and energy products. And certainly, many believe confidence is too high: On a cyclically adjusted price-earnings basis, USA equity valuations have already exceeded the highs seen before the 1929 crash.

Focusing on United Kingdom stocks, Old Mutual was among the biggest fallers after saying it was taking a "cautious" approach to the dividend despite hiking half-year profits. Shares of Macy's lost $2.36, or 10%, to $20.67, their lowest close since 2010. Silver also rose, gaining 43 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $16.82 an ounce.

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. slid 6.2 percent after the theme park operator reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street's expectations. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.1 percent.

Across Europe, the Cac 40 in France slid 1.1% while Germany's Dax was flat. The contract fell 97 cents, or 2 per cent, to close at $48.59 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.24 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1756 from $1.1773.