North Korea Says 3.5m Volunteers Ready to Retaliate Against US

Investor focus now turns to Friday's US consumer price index data.

Asian stocks fell across the board on Friday as the escalation in tensions surrounding North Korea continued to push investors towards safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc and gold.

Despite the drop, analysts said the market seemed to be a bit skeptical that the North Korea situation would grow into a major crisis, noting that the losses were still not that deep.

Friday caps a week dogged by escalating tension between the USA and North Korea which culminated with President Donald Trump stating that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea "maybe wasn't tough enough". For its part, the canadian dollar traded at an average price of 78,83 US¢, up 16 cents compared to its average price of the previous day.

France's CAC dropped 1.6 per cent and Germany's DAX fell 1.3 per cent.

Data storage company Seagate Technology (STX) is posting a standout gain within the hardware sector, climbing by 2.1%.

"Amid all the sabre-rattling, we expect gold prices to continue to move higher and likely cross the $1,300 an ounce mark in relative short order", said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

The annual decline in prices stands at 1.7% in July, compared to 1.6 % in June, according to the index, below the 2% target of the federal Reserve. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index has fallen 1.2 percent for the week. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound. Technology and healthcare stocks were among the big gainers. Vertex Pharmaceuticals picked up $3.19, or 2.1%, to $151.73. The stock lost $2.80 to $9.04. Chinese blue chips closed flat but Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was last down 0.2 per cent.

Shares of Snap were down as much as 14.23 percent and hit an all-time low following a miss on revenue and daily active users. Ten-year US yields dropped 4.3 basis points to 2.24 per cent and German equivalents fell 3 bps to 0.43 per cent, a six-week low.

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. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London. It was last up 1.2 percent at 1.1305 per euro.

Spot gold had eased 0.1 per cent to $1,276.40 per ounce at 0322 GMT.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.

MOUSE HOUSE: Disney dropped 5.1 percent a day after the media giant reported a weak quarter and said it would pull its movies from Netflix and start two of its own video streaming services.

The euro dipped 0.1 per cent to $1.1733 but the single European currency has been slipping this week against the dollar, having hit a more than 2 1/2-year high of $1.1892 on August 2. Japan was closed on a public holiday.