Stock markets extend losses at open

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Stocks are under pressure on Wednesday at the mid-session as the tension between the United States and North Korea continues to heat up. Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the U.S.is the first mover.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 204.69 points to 21,844.01, while the S&P 500 index dropped 35.81 points to 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq composite index slid 135.46 points to 6,216.87.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell to 2.2% and is approaching its lowest level of the year.

The UK's stock market ended the week down 1.1% as worries over the situation between the U.S. and North Korea continue to rattle investors.

Late in the afternoon, Trump told reporters that his "fire and fury" warning to North Korea may not have been tough enough.

USA equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough. He said that North Korea "can be very very nervous" if it acts on either the USA or its allies, and warned that "things will happen to them like they never thought possible". Kohl's shares are down 15% in the year to date, compared to a 10.5% gain for the S&P 500 [s:spx]. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news.

North Korea has since threatened to launch missiles at the US territory of Guam, and the country previously threatened "all-out war, wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the USA mainland".

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Across Europe, Gemany's Dax was off 1.2% and the Cac 40 in France dropped by 0.6%.

On the economic front, data is expected to show that US consumer prices likely rose in July after being unchanged the prior month.

J.C. Penney sank 16.6% after the struggling department store chain reported quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The South Korean Won is also suffering, falling by 0.8% to a four-week low against the U.S. dollar.

The data comes amid tepid inflation that has remained below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target, despite low unemployment. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, was down 35 cents to $51.55 a barrel in London.

Gold fell $2.10 to $1,262.60 an ounce. The euro fell to $1.1791 from $1.1774. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.

The UK's deficit in goods and services, the gap between exports and imports, climbed by £2 billion to £4.6 billion between May and June after a drop in exported goods.

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