All three major equity benchmarks finished sharply lower on Thursday for their worst day since mid-May, with the trifecta of indexes all tumbling for a third straight session for the first time since mid-April, amid a persistent war of words between the US and North Korea.
Stocks ended more than one percent down in Seoul while the won slumped to a three-week low against the dollar as the U.S. president and South Korea's volatile neighbour dramatically ramped up their war of words.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.
LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - World stocks fell for a third day on Thursday and investors moved again into the Swiss franc, yen and gold, prompted by the war of words between the United States and North Korea.
On Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley said he expects sluggish US inflation to rise over the next several months while the hot labor market gets even hotter.
U.S. President Donald Trump's warning North Korea faced "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States and Pyongyang's response that it was considering a missile strike have sent investors scurrying out of stock markets and the dollar and into perceived safe havens such as the yen, the Swiss franc, government debt and gold.
Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil.
The Nasdaq composite lost 13.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,370.46.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.24 percent versus the greenback at 110.04 per dollar. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in well over a month.
"Japanese equities hadn't been rising much despite positive earnings results, so investors had started jumping at shadows, doubting whether they should really be holdings onto Japanese stocks".
Macy's (M) slipped more than 10% as the retailer reaffirmed downbeat guidance, but reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-shares-rise-after-earnings-revenue-beat-2017-08-10) s.
Michael Kors climbed 21.5 percent after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved. Its shares slid $9.77, or 5.3 percent, to $174.02.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $48.47 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold gained 0.54 percent to $1,266 an ounce, but that is only its highest in less than a week. It was last up 1 percent at 1.133 per euro. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London.
In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw further downside during trading on Thursday.
Asian markets finished lower on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-continue-to-fall-after-wednesdays-selloff-2017-08-09), with losses of over 1% for the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index.