Selloff in stocks takes a breather; gold and yen tick up

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       A Swiss franc note on display at the Swiss National Bank

"Trump's comments about North Korea have created nervousness and the fear is if the President really means what he said: "fire and fury"," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets in London.

Spot gold added 0.7 per cent to $1,285.70 an ounce. It soared over two per cent in the previous two sessions, and is set for a weekly gain of 2.25 per cent. The precious metal had gained Rs 670 in last three days.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.6 percent to 2,459.50, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.8 percent to 6,299.12. However, the 4-week average figure dropped by 1,000 to 241,000.

Most large-cap stocks fell across the board.

The dollar was further weighed on Friday by the soft USA inflation data.

Disappointing listed-company earnings for the second quarter, largely due to weaker-than-expected net profits of large firms, also dampened investors' risk appetite, Mr Chaiyaporn said.

Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia.

However, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley suggested on Thursday that the central bank was on track to raise interest rates once more as he expects sluggish inflation to rise over the next several months.

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The Korean won continued to fall versus the dollar, down 0.13 per cent to 1,143.5 on Friday for a 1.6 per cent decline on the week. It was up about 2 percent for the week so far.

USA producer prices unexpectedly recorded their biggest drop in almost a year, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week. Financial companies and department store operators were among the big decliners.

While the dollar was struggling to recover as geopolitical risks between the USA and the North- Korea heightened after the two presidents exchanged war of words, data on producer prices and initial jobless claims came in lower than expected, pushing the currency further down.

But the prospect of hefty losses on Wall Street stocks was averted when U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson said there was "no imminent threat of war" and that Americans could "sleep well at night".

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2 percent.

The market's backstop safety asset, gold, edged up to its latest two-month high of $1,288 an ounce.

The local currency was trading at 1,145.05 won against the US dollar, down 3.05 won from the previous session's close. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.13%.

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