“The war of words taking place between the United States and North Korea at the moment, which includes very real threats of action, is taking its toll on investor sentiment”.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.08 percent, but was off session highs seen earlier. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2.
Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar slid 0.9 percent to $0.7273.
President Donald Trump’s warning North Korea faced “fire and fury” and Pyongyang’s threat of possible retaliation drove investors out of stocks on Wednesday and into the yen, Swiss franc, gold and government debt. The beat in GDP growth gave the Singapore dollar a slight boost: The currency traded at S$1.3623 to the dollar at 8:31 a.m. HK/SIN compared to levels around S$1.3634 seen before the release.
Against the backdrop of geopolitical tension, market participants also focused on individual earnings.
The U.S. equity market is hovering near record levels and volume has been tepid following the onset of summer.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six rival currencies, was down 0.17 per cent to 93.391.
In Europe, the pan-continental STOXX 600 index fell 0.9 percent, with falls deepening after a vehicle rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six, in what officials said was a suspected terrorist attack.
Gold prices eased slightly after rising to their highest levels in more than two months on safe haven demand. USA gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 per cent to $1,281.90 per ounce on Thursday.
The dollar was steady against a basket of six major currencies at 93.412 after falling 0.2 percent on Thursday, with disappointing USA inflation and jobs data adding to the greenback’s woes.
Meanwhile, 10-year U.S. Treasury yields edged higher to around 2.25 percent after slipping overnight.
The European dip followed similar trading in Asia, where equities were back in the red, snuffing out a nascent recovery as tensions over North Korea lingered for a second day.
Shares of Snap SNAP.N were down as much as 14.23 percent and hit an all-time low following a miss on revenue and daily active users.
Stocks are ending broadly lower on Wall Street, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the a year ago.
Hong Kong shed more than one percent and Shanghai also closed down, while Seoul shares continued their sell-off after slumping Wednesday, with the won again softening.
US crude oil crude futures CLc1 were little changed at $48.59 per barrel.
Wall St’s three major indexes ended the day down with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.15 per cent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.24 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite losing 0.21 per cent.
In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand held steady on interest rates at 1.75 percent on Thursday.
Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren both posted better-than-expected earnings before the bell Tuesday, sending their stocks higher by 21.5 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.