Trump on North Korea; Google scandal; Trouble at Snap

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Stocks saw some strength during trading on Friday, regaining ground following the sell-off seen in the previous session.

Sterling was last trading at US$1.3007, up 0.25 per cent on the day.

At 9:38am ET (1338 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 85.43 points, or 0.39%, at 21,963.27, and the S&P 500 was down 10.31 points, or 0.42% at 2,463.71.

"The markets are looking for direction after Wednesday's sharp moves and geopolitical concerns will dominate investor mindsets in the coming days", said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing just a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July.

A Labor Department report showed its producer price index posted a surprise drop in July, down 0.1% for the largest slide in nearly a year.

The US producer prices data was slightly below consensus forecasts with both headline and core prices declining 0.1% on the month. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2%.

Gold got an extra boost after data showed United States consumer prices rose less than expected in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

Global markets have been on edge for the bulk of the week after Trump warned North Korea of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats.

Intensifying turmoil between the USA and North Korea continued to strain forex markets across the globe and to lift demand for assets perceived as safe havens for the second day.

If you buy a stock on its ex-dividend date or after, you do not get the next dividend payment. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

In his latest warning to North Korea, US President Donald Trump said on Friday military solutions were "fully in place" and referred to American weapons as being "locked and loaded" should the nuclear-armed nation act "unwisely". The 1.3 percent gain for the market's main other choice for borrowing to fund speculation, the Swiss franc against the euro, is its biggest rise in more than a year. Autodesk (ADSK) and Red Hat (RHT) posted notable gains.

While European stocks have seen robust inflows in the wake of the French elections, their performance have lagged their USA rivals since mid June.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 per cent on Friday to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week were a relatively modest 3.2 per cent.

Asian markets struggled again, with Japan's Nikkei feeling the pressure from the rise of the safe-haven yen, which hit an eight-week high.

The major European also saw further downside on the day.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 1.6 percent to 5,135 while Germany's DAX was down 1.3 percent at 12,133. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped by 2.3 basis points to 2.189%.

"If the USA and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so", the editorial's authors said.

The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, which may shed some light on the outlook for the interest rates.

Retailers' results are being keenly watched by investors to gauge the companies' strategy to counter No. 1 online retailer Amazon.com's growth.

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