Lack of US data releases has kept North Korea- US tensions as the overriding theme in markets. After the negative lead from Asia, European and US equities have ended the day with sharp losses, safe haven assets such as gold and yen have outperformed and the VIX has jumped over 40% moving above the 16 mark for the first time in just under three months. US equities opened lower following the moves from Europe and Asia. Oil prices were rising during European hours, but news that Russian oil producer Gazprom was considering “economically feasible” to resume production in matured fields triggered a sell-off in oil and weighed on energy shares. Disappointing earnings results didn’t help the cause with US retailers coming under pressure after both Macy’s and Kohl’s noted sales continued to decline in the second quarter. Later in the session President Trump added more fuel to the fire noting that if North Korea “does anything” to the US or its allies, “things will happen to them like they never thought possible”.