S. Korean shares extend losses on heightened tensions over N

S. Korean shares extend losses on heightened tensions over N. Korea

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6% drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. -North Korea tensions exact a toll on investor sentiment.

Shares in several other big media companies also declined.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 38.25 points, or 0.62 percent, at 6,255.12.

Top military brass and President Trump are being sued by five US military members that want to keep Trump's transgender ban from becoming a reality - "in any capacity". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later insisted the US isn't signalling it's about to mete out a military response despite threats from North Korea suggesting it could attack Guam, a USA island territory in the Pacific.

-Following Trump's warning of unleashing "fire and fury" on North Korea earlier this week, the president warned the regime not to follow through with a missile test near Guam, promising massive response to any strike against the US or its allies.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 300,073 contracts traded. The Nasdaq Composite took an even bigger hit, closing down 2.1% at 6,216.87. Investors' uncertainty, measured by the VIX volatility index, is still at higher levels not seen since the election, but stock markets are back to positive returns. Last week, the Dow broke above 22,000 for the first time.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday. Hours later, North Korea said it was considering launching missiles at Guam.

The positive earnings helped lift USA stocks to record highs. World stocks are on track for their biggest weekly fall since the week before Trump was elected.

The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, was facing its worst week since the one ended December 2, which logged a loss of just over 2%.

Shares of Kohl's were down 8.4%, while Macy's fell 4% after the department store operators reported a fall in sales.

The smaller than expected increase in consumer prices has led to optimism that the Federal Reserve will not be in a hurry to raise interest rates.

Such an outcome would normally boost the US dollar, Spivak said in a note.

On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.2% to flit around the 1.30 United States dollar mark, with the greenback falling in response to the latest USA inflation data.

On the Fed speaker list, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan is scheduled to appear in a question-and-answer session at the University of Texas Arlington, in Arlington, Virginia, at 9:40 a.m. The 30-stock index snapped a streak of nine straight records closes in the previous session. Some say expectations for its server-chip business were just too high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-stock-could-pause-as-server-growth-slows-down-2017-08-10).

Sterling was also down 0.1% versus the euro at 1.104.

J.C. Penney Co.(JCP) is on tap to report quarterly earnings ahead of the market open. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.1 percent.

South Korean stocks extended losses late Friday as North Korea risks continued to weigh on the main index.

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