If North Korea were to launch an attack that threatened the US, China should stay neutral, but if the US attacked first and tried to overthrow North Korea's government, China would stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday. Trump's comments followed reports the North has mastered a technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.
"Most investors will be completely out of their depth in making any assessment on the (North Korea) situation", said Koon Chow, emerging market FX strategist at fund manager UBP.
The sell-off is likely to extend into the European session, with financial spread-better CMC Markets expecting Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 to open down about 0.7% each and Britain's FTSE 100 to start 0.55% lower.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
LONDON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - World stocks tumbled for a fourth day and were on course for their worst week since November, as the escalating war of words over North Korea drove investors on Friday toward the yen, the Swiss franc and gold.
The ten-year yield added to the 4.2 basis point loss posted on Wednesday, falling to its lowest closing level in well over a month.
The precious metal miners benefited from the flight to safety, with bullion prices hitting near two-month highs on North Korean worries.
Gold, another classic safe haven asset, was trading at around $1,285 per ounce, up more than two percent this week and near a nine-week high. It was trading at 109.16 yen, after retreating 0.8 percent on Thursday.
Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 39 cents to US$49.56 per barrel, September natural gas advanced six cents at US$2.88 per mmBTU and the September copper contract declined two cents at US$2.93 a pound.
USA producer prices Thursday disappointed, as traders await consumer price inflation figures later Friday.
The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June.
Australian shares fell to near three-week lows in a broad-based selloff. Macy's sank 10.3 percent and Kohl's lost 5.8 percent.
Shares of staffing firm Adecco slumped 6.4 percent after its results.
A report released by the Labor Department showed a modest uptick in consumer prices in the U.S. in the month of July.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.2255 percent, from 2.242 percent late on Wednesday.
The dollar weakened after news that USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, recording their biggest drop in almost a year and pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase.
US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.
Shares of Snap (SNAP) are also seeing pre-market weakness after the parent of Snapchat reported a wider than expected second quarter loss on revenues that came in below expectations.