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Gold buoyed by North Korea tensions, United States inflation data

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"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number". Viacom slid 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.84.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Amid the hot rhetoric, US stocks sold off sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent.

European stock markets fell further in opening trade on Friday on intensifying fears over North Korea, dealers said. North Korea said today it plans to fire four missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, branding President Trump's warning that North Korean threats will be met with "fire and fury" as "a load of nonsense".

The index was also dragged lower after Beijing ordered probes into three major Chinese social networking platforms over outlawed content. "We do believe the trend is still up".

"Although the Greenback has maintained its post NFP gains this week, the overall price action suggests that market players are still hesitant to purchase the currency". Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. Kinaxis shares fell after the supply chain management software maker cut its forecast. Silver gained 20 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.07 an ounce.

The attraction of the franc in the face of the Korean situation, however, has pulled it back from long-term lows hit earlier this month. Bank of New York Mellon fell $1.56, or 2.9 percent, to $52.48, while Citizens Financial Group slid 86 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $34.17.

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Overnight, the Dow added to losses from the prior session on Wednesday, as investors fled risky assets amid rising geopolitical tensions after North Korea ignored President Trump's warning that further threats to the United stated "will be met with fire and fury".

Bargain-seeking investors instead turned their focus to strength in the global economy and earnings toward the end of an active trading day.

The latest USA economic data cemented expectations that inflation will remain subdued amid a robust labour market. "There was some skittishness earlier, but then some buyers stepped in".

The jump in the franc had prompted hedge funds to unwind leveraged positions which involved borrowing in the weak Swiss currency and investing the proceeds in the relatively higher-yielding Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar.

"You'd need to see something more tangible than just rhetoric for a broader pullback", Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY. The Dow is down 98.98 points or 0.5 percent at 21,949.72, the Nasdaq is down 65.83 points or 1 percent at 6,286.50 and the S&P 500 is down 16.77 points or 0.7 percent at 2,457.25.

Gains among technology companies helped snap a three-day losing streak for USA stocks Friday, though the market ended with its worst weekly loss since March.

A Reuters Datastream index of more than 7,000 stocks across the globe saw its market capitalisation drop from a record high $61.36 trillion on Monday to $60.43 trillion at the close on Thursday.

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