Asian shares, U.S. stock futures, dollar slip on rising Korean tensions

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The statement further said that the country's military will develop a battle plan by mid-August to launch four intermediate range missiles at Guam before conveying it to leader Kim Jong-un, who will make a decision on whether to proceed. Discovery Communications fell 94 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $23.36.

The entire administration of Donald Trump is speaking in one voice on the threat posed by North Korea and how to tackle it, a State Department official has said, dismissing reports that there was dissent in the US President's regime over the issue.

Valeant's stock, which rallied a day before following quarterly results, sank 9.6 percent to C$17.85 after it said its subsidiaries in Australia were the subject of a tax audit.

The S&P 500 fell 0.68%, and the Nasdaq slid 1.1%.

The 30-year bond last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.8107 percent, from 2.818 percent late on Wednesday.

Against the greenback, the Swiss franc eased about 0.1 percent to 0.9645 per dollar CHF=, having surged about 1.1 percent on Wednesday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei was 1.2 percent lower as the stronger yen sapped investors' appetite.

The RBNZ, which kept interest rates unchanged at record lows of 1.75 percent, also said a lower New Zealand dollar is needed to increase tradables inflation and help deliver more balanced growth. That's the index's lowest level in two months. South Korea's won currency dropped 0.9% against the dollar.

Insurers and banks, which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds, were the two worst performers on the board after US Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, with the yields on the benchmark 10-year note hitting a six-week low.

Gold futures for December delivery climbed 1.3 per cent to settle at $1,279.30 (U.S.) an ounce on the Comex in NY.

Oil prices rose nearly half a percent in today's trading following a bigger-than-expected drop in USA crude inventories. 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. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 56 cents to $52.70 in London. Silver gained 14 cents to 16.39 an ounce. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.

The UK blue-chip index fell 80 points, or 1.1%, to 7,417, and is now down 128 points over the last two sessions, as the standoff between the United States and North Korea has escalated. The kiwi is likely to find support near 1.62 against the euro and 1.09 against the aussie.