FTSE 100 heads for one-month low as Trump 'ups the ante'

US: Dow streak of records ends amid US-North Korea tensions

US: Dow streak of records ends amid US-North Korea tensions

All three major stock indexes dropped 0.2 per cent at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing at 22,085.34, halting a almost two-week run of closing records.

The negative headlines provided many investors with an opportunity to pocket some of their recent gains following a string of record highs fueled by strong corporate earnings.

North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a US -held Pacific island, after President Trump's warning on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement on Wednesday it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large U.S. military base.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.53 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 6,320.93.

The heightened rhetoric dragged London's top flight back from 7,542.73 on Tuesday, when it came within a whisker of reaching the all-time closing high of 7547.63 recorded on May 26 and June 2.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer discretionary index's 10.2 percent fall leading the decliners.

"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said.

Analysts pointed to the harsh threats and sabre rattling from US President Donald Trump, including a message on Wednesday on Twitter boasting the United States' nuclear arsenal was now "more powerful than ever before".

The CBOE Volatility Index, better known as the VIX and the most widely-followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at 10.96, its highest in about a month. They are looking for confirmation that the Fed is sticking with plans for a possible December interest rate hike.

Gold rose 0.6 per cent to $1,268 an ounce. Shares of Manulife, which reported better-than-expected results, fell after the company played down talk of a John Hancock spin-off.

Neil Mellor, a currency strategist with Bank of New York Mellon in London, said the pound was "drifting towards the lows from last month against the dollar".

Stock movers: Shares of Old Mutual fell 1.2% even after the company raised its dividend 32%.

"Trump's response was aggressive and that's why the market turned lower", said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to settle at $48.82 a barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Macy's (M.N) shares closed down 10.2 percent and Kohl's (KSS.N) fell nearly 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnarounds may still be a long way off. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,273.71 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.2 percent at 27,803.55.

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