Appetite for haven assets continued to support gold, which rose 0.2% Friday to $1,293 a troy ounce.
Disappointing economic data releases weighed on both sides of the Atlantic today with a negative goods trade balance for the United Kingdom (-0.1% versus expectations of 1.4%), higher unemployment claims from the USA (244,000) and also a negative month-on-month PPI figure for the U.S. (-0.1%).
Gold has rallied 2.3% this week on the heels of renewed tension with North Korea.
Missile makers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have outperformed Wall Street by nearly 4 percent in recent days and the Dow Jones U.S. defence index is at a record high and on a seven-day unbroken run of gains.
Simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea have come back to the boil in recent days after Pyongyang disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near America's Pacific territory of Guam.
Tokyo's Nikkei index had dropped 1.3% by the time European stock markets opened on Wednesday morning, with similar falls on the German and French bourses.
The reclusive state raised the stakes further on Thursday with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.
Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.16 percent, with 37,467 contracts changing hands at 8:40 a.m. ET (1240 GMT). U.S. US10YT=RR and British equivalents GB10YT=RR were also trading a touch above Wednesday's six-week lows.
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China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. The memorandum comes amid high tensions between Washington and Beijing.
"The CPI data was very muted and not something which the Federal Reserve is going to be happy to look at", said Think Markets analyst Naeem Aslam.
But in the US, Wall Street stocks rose as investors waded back into the market following a three-day sell-off, with high-flying technology companies like Apple and Microsoft doing especially well.
With Japanese markets closed for a public holiday, Hong Kong led the downward charge in Asia-Pacific as the Hang Seng lost more than two percent.
"Subdued participation this year and lean positioning suggests that market participants would have to play catch-up on a break higher", she said in a note.
"The won has recently been reacting quite sensitively to Trump's comments and investors' anxieties worsened today as the North came up with an aggressive response", said Jung Sung Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.
US crude rose 0.43 percent to $48.80 per barrel and Brent was last at $52.01, up 0.21 percent on the day.
Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 94.55 points, or 0.43 percent, to 21,954.15, the S&P 500 lost 19.51 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,454.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 76.39 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,275.94.
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