TSX futures fall as North Korea tensions brew

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Gains among technology companies helped snap a three-day losing streak for USA stocks Friday, though the market ended with its worst weekly loss since March.

Global stock markets ended their worst week in months amid rising tensions between the US and North Korea, though USA stock indexes steadied on Friday to close up slightly.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,466 as of 2:45 p.m. The Dow Jones industrials average gained 14.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,858.32.

Euro zone stocks and blue-chips also dropped 0.7 percent, while the miner-heavy FTSE underperformed and was down 0.8 percent.

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

High-flying technology names suffered outsized losses on the day, with Apple falling 3.2 percent, Amazon 2.6 percent and Facebook 2.2 percent.

In the United Kingdom, gold mining stocks Randgold Resource and Fresnillo were among the few to gain - up 2.8% and 4.9%.

The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, with the Dow and the S&P 500 pulling back further off Monday's record closing highs.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.19 percent from 2.20 percent late Thursday.

Wall Street's fear gauge-the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX-jumped 36 percent to 15.06.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 percent to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week are a relatively modest 3.2 percent.

Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia.

Politics lifted US defense stocks.

Gold and bond prices were headed higher.

METALS: Gold, a traditional safe haven play, added $16.70, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $1,279.30 an ounce.

Traders took heart in a measure of USA consumer prices that increased only slightly in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.7% at closing, France's CAC 40 fell 1.4% after a vehicle hit a group of soldiers in Paris in what is thought to have been a deliberate act, and a fall in bond yields saw Germany's DAX down 1.1%.

Many world stock markets have hit record or multi-year highs in recent weeks, leaving them vulnerable to a selloff, and the tensions over North Korea have proved to be the trigger.

Tuesday's rise puts the Dow on track to post its 11th straight session of gains - the blue-chip index's longest streak since February - driven by a strong quarterly earnings season. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.62 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon and natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet. The September copper contract was down two cents to US$2.91 a pound.

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