Gold steady near 2-mth highs as N. Korea tensions continue

USA stocks were on track for their biggest weekly loss in months, shaken by disappointing earnings results and an escalation of threats between the US and North Korea.

Yen is safest. These are some of the strategies analysts are recommending as the escalating threats between US and North Korea send investors fleeing.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.35 points, or 0.31%, at 6 236.22.

On Friday, stocks recovered slightly, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2%.

In European markets, the French CAC 40 was down 0.7% and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.2%.

Overnight, Wall Street closed sharply lower after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new round of fiery rhetoric, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory.

The headlines about North Korea served as a spark to jolt investors out of complacency on the heels of an extended period of calm in the market, said McClellan who shared the following chart in a report.

Buy offshore yuan. Sell South Korean won.

TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.

Shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook fell more than 2% Thursday.

The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months.

Retail results are also on investors' mind as the second-quarter earning season winds down.

"The slight bias to the upside (in stocks) is a result of the CPI number".

Housebuilders Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW.L - news) and Barratt fell by 2.8 to 3% on weak house price data.

JC Penney slumped 16.56% to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Its shares tumbled $13.09 to $60.25.

The euro held steady at $1.1776.

Analysts said yields, which move inversely to prices, could fall further if the geopolitical tensions continue to rise - even if central bankers in the United States continue to talk of raising interest rates or scaling back stimulus programmes. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.21 per cent from 2.25 per cent late Wednesday. Oil also regained momentum as data pointed to declining US inventories.

On Thursday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley offered a positive outlook for the US economy, job market and inflation, saying better conditions would help support the most vulnerable Americans. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.2 per cent to C$68.02, while Quebecor Inc added 4.3 per cent to C$45.20 and Canadian Tire Corp Ltd climbed 5.7 per cent to C$149.89.

Oil prices turned around late in the day, with Brent crude nudging higher 0.04% to $51.92 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate ahead by 0.12% at $48.65. Gold hit a two-month high of US$1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness. In three days. the Nasdaq has lost 2.6% - the most since last September.

The Japanese yen last strengthened 0.03 per cent versus the greenback at 109.22 per dollar.