North Korea on Thursday outlined details for a missile strike near the USA territory of Guam, adding fuel to rising tensions with the United States. The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.2 percent to 2474.92 points, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2 percent to 6370.46 points.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,438, its biggest drop since mid-May. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished down 1.1%, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average lost less than 0.1%.
President Donald Trump that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States as a "load of nonsense", and outlined detailed plans for a missile strike near the Pacific territory of Guam.
The Swiss currency was little changed against the dollar at 0.9637 franc after surging more than 1 percent the previous day.
Within the internet sector, Synacor (SYNC) fell sharply after the internet content provider reported better than expected second quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.
Secretary of state says U.S. wants to work with Russian Federation
It's unclear how many of those in the US diplomatic staff in Russian Federation are Americans. The Syrian cease-fire reflected a return of U.S. -Russia cooperation to lower violence there.
The RBNZ held rates at a record low of 1.75 percent on Thursday and reiterated that policy would stay loose for a considerable time to come.
A separate report showed USA factory gate prices dipped by 0.1% month-on-month in July, in line with the consensus and alongside a flat reading at the "core" level, which was forecast to rise 0.2%. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 2.226 percent. Netflix fell 2.4 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.75 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.40 per cent.
Venezuela's new assembly declares itself all-powerful
Foreign ministers from 17 Western Hemisphere nations, however, refused to recognise the new "all-powerful body", AP reported. It also demanded the "implementation of the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights".
Traditional safe-haven currencies including the Swiss franc and Japanese yen rose against the USA dollar.
In the Dow, declines in shares of Merck and those of DuPont, recently down 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of Apple and those of Microsoft, recently up 1.3 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower.
In other precious metals, silver rose 0.4 per cent to $16.48 per ounce.
Currency markets focused on the USA producer price index data due later in the session. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London. The euro strengthened to $1.1756 from $1.1752. An ounce of gold is trading at USD1,289.10, up USD9.80 compared to the previous session's close of USD1,279.30.
Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia.
Jacob Zuma no-confidence vote to be secret
In recent weeks, two ANC lawmakers who publicly said they meant to vote against Zuma were quickly censured by the party.
The market indexes wavered between small gains and losses for much of the morning, then veered lower by afternoon.