Top earnings, North Korea concerns set the stage on Wall Street

President Donald Trump threats against North Korea ended the Dow's streak of nine straight record closes

At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 70.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to 15,146.38. It was the biggest percentage loss since mid-June.

"I'm looking selectively at the pullbacks, but my gut is that we could be in for a bumpy ride for the next couple of months or so". North Korea's threats against Guam have clearly got a backbone and we have heard quite specific timelines.

Materials, a sector that includes gold producers and other resource-based companies, was the lone gainer among the index's 10 main sectors, rising 0.7 per cent.

It has weakened 1.5 per cent since hitting a 2-1/2 year high of 1.1910 on August 2.

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.

"Add it all up and stocks are vulnerable to a pullback or correction", Bittles said.

Asian equity markets extended a global slide on Friday, sending investors fleeing to less risky assets such the yen, the Swiss franc and US Treasuries.

Earlier, Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday it would face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States, prompting the nuclear-armed nation to say it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a US-held Pacific island.

That prompted North Korea to say it was considering firing missiles at Guam, a USA -held Pacific island.

"What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the USA and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it", said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney. Both were coming off record highs. "That is the longest stretch in 20 years", Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, told The Post.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.8 per cent to an 11-1/2-week low, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 per cent.

The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 per cent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 per cent.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 USA military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000.

However these stocks - along with tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent - have been among the top performers all year.

The Chinese volatility gauge jumped by the most since January 2016.

The Swiss and Japanese currencies are often sought in times of geopolitical tension partly because the countries have big current account surpluses. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.41%, with the index driven by broad-based gains, with only the energy and utilities sub-indexes registering slight losses. The index closed at 16.04 overnight, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 164 to 80, for a 2.05-to-1 ratio on the downside.

Dow e-minis were down 54 points, or 0.25 percent, with 25,272 contracts changing hands.

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