USA stocks close lower, snapping Dow's 10-day winning streak

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Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission released last week showed that currency speculators still held a large net short position in the yen during the week ended August 1, although somewhat smaller than the levels seen a couple of weeks earlier, when their bearish bets against the yen grew to the largest since January 2014. The S&P hasn't moved more than 0.5 percent in one day since July and has fallen more than 1 percent only twice this year.

Australian shares were down 1.2 percent, set for a weekly loss of 0.5 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

North Korea state media warned its missiles could surround the USA territory of Guam in an "enveloping fire" in coming weeks. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans to hike interest rates once more this year.

On commodities markets, oil advanced with United States crude nearing $50 a barrel after figures from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed a sharp decrease in stockpiles, a clear indication of an easing supply glut.

US stocks moved slightly lower in midday trading Wednesday as investors weighed the growing tensions between the USA and North Korea. After touching all-time high of 22,179 on Tuesday, Dow Jones closed the day in negative.

Trump took specific aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday, saying, he had "disrespected our country greatly", and would not be "getting away with it".

Politics lifted US defense stocks.

With the tense mood pushing European shares down for a third day and Wall Street set to fall again, global stocks were on course for their worst week since Donald Trump won November's USA presidential election.

"Of course it's all come at a time when share markets are due for a correction so North Korea has provided a ideal trigger".

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After hurrying to sell off richly-valued stocks this week, investors appeared to be reassessing the geopolitical risks, according to Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas.

The dollar extended losses against the yen to hit a new two-month low.

The dollar last changed hands at 108.96 yenJPY=, down 0.2 percent. Netflix also fell, giving up $2.58, or 1.4 percent, to $175.78.

The technology sector .SPLRCT was the S&P's biggest drag with a 2.2 percent drop.

The dollar eased slightly against a basket of major currencies .DXY .

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday.

Silver gained 47 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.86 an ounce. In commodities, crude oil lost momentum after rising overnight on data pointing to declining USA inventories.

The Labor Department is also expected to issue its Producer Price Index (PPI), which is likely to have remained unchanged at 0.1 percent in July. It is now on track for its biggest weekly drop since the week before the November 8 USA presidential election. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.1 percent to 5,696.80. It is poised to end the week down 1.9 per cent.

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