Seoul shares open lower on heightened tensions over North Korea

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Pyongyang has responded that it is eyeing attacks on United States military bases in Guam.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent at end at 2,474.02, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 percent to 6,352.33. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman and the Dow Jones U.S. defence index .djusdn was up 1.48 percent after hitting a record high. "The typical textbook trade is that investors rush for safe haven, hence we have experienced a bounce for the gold price".

Money moved to the relatively safer bond markets after President Donald Trump threatened North Korea on Tuesday with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, investors appeared to take some comfort in Tillerson's comments, said Richard Steinberg, managing director at HighTower Advisors in NY.

IN A SKID: Avis Budget Group slumped 6.8% to $31.13 after the auto rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

The 10-year note fetched a high yield of 2.250 percent, above the expected 2.234 percent at the bid deadline.

Banks and technology stocks were among the big gainers Tuesday, offsetting losses among health care and consumer-focused companies.

The price of oil was also 0.3% ahead at 52.29 United States dollars a barrel, with stockpiles coming under pressure from falling crude oil imports and record processing at American refineries.

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Priceline Group slumped 6.5 percent after issuing a profit forecast that was weaker than analysts were expecting.

Unsurprisingly, Acacia Mining led the movers on London's second-tier index, bucking the miner trend which saw most of its competitors fall, thanks to rising silver and gold prices on the back of the news out of Asia.

Globally, France's CAC 40 share index fell 1.5 percent by the afternoon; Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound. On the Nasdaq, 1,846 issues fell and 953 advanced favoring decliners.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 39 cents to settle at $49.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A more than 1% jump in the Swiss franc against the dollar pressured Swiss stocks, pulling the SMI lower by 1.3%. The euro slid to $1.1752 from $1.1793. Travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 2.7 percent.

Disappointing earnings also helped pull the market lower Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,032. The U.S. currency was down 0.4 percent at 109.865 yen JPY=, following a retreat to 109.835, its weakest since mid-June. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent.

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