U.S. stock indexes looked set to open lower on Wednesday as investors shunned risky assets following escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States.
North Korea said it was considering plans to fire missiles at Guam, a U.S.-held Pacific island, after President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned the nuclear-armed nation that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.
Safe-haven assets gained. Gold rose 1.2 percent, while the Swiss franc was on track to post its biggest single day rise in about two-and-a-half years.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday after Trump`s comments sparked a late afternoon selling. The Dow snapped a nine-day streak of closing records.
The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest in about a month.
European shares were also lower following reports that a car had rammed a group of soldiers in Paris, injuring six before speeding off in what officials identified as a suspected terrorist attack.
"The geopolitical tensions have prompted a risk off trade amid investors," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK.
"Trump`s comments about North Korea have created nervousness and the fear is if the president really means what he said "fire and fury". The typical textbook trade is that investors rush for safe haven, hence we have experienced a bounce for the gold price."
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).
S&P 500 e-minis were down 9.25 points, or 0.37 percent, with 296,288 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 39.75 points, or 0.67 percent, on volume of 53,600 contracts.
Economic data showed U.S. worker productivity rose more than expected in the second quarter but the trend remained weak.
Shares of Dow component Walt Disney were down 4.94 percent in premarket trading after the company said it will stop providing new movies to Netflix and launch its own streaming service. Netflix was down 3.84 percent.
Travel website operator Priceline fell 6.54 percent, while travel-review website operator TripAdvisor was down 7.51 percent after both the companies issued disappointing forecasts.
Mylan NV was down 7.99 percent after the EpiPen maker cut its 2017 and 2018 forecasts.
Burger chain Wendy`s was up 1.84 percent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)