Another source of support to bullion was data showing USA producer prices unexpectedly fell in July, pointing to a further moderation in inflation that could delay a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. The fact that ended with a 1%-plus drop, however, might be good news.
President Donald Trump warned North Korea again on Thursday not to strike Guam or USA allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.3 per cent to C$21.74 as the price of gold, a safe-haven asset, reached its highest levels in two months.
The overall financials group, which accounts for roughly a third of the index, declined 1.4 per cent, while energy shares also fell 1.4 per cent as oil prices turned down. On Friday, fellow retailer J.C. Penney dropped 16% after its second-quarter loss exceeded expectations.
USA equities steepened their losses late in the session after President Donald Trump said his earlier warnings to North Korea may not have been tough enough. He said that North Korea "can be very very nervous" if it acts on either the USA or its allies, and warned that "things will happen to them like they never thought possible".
Buying interest is somewhat subdued, however, as the ever-escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea continues to raise geopolitical concerns. Instead, it provided an excuse for a selloff many investors consider overdue.
Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,284.64 per ounce as of 0616 GMT, but was set for a weekly gain of over 2 percent.
Iran bans two players for life after playing against Israel
Shojaei - who has earned 70 global caps - was instrumental in helping Iran secure a spot at the 2018 World Cup. "These two are good players", said Peyman Rahbar, a well-known sportswriter for the Varzesh3 website in Iran.
The last time the S&P closed down more than 1 per cent was May 17 when it fell 1.8 per cent. The index closed at 16.04 overnight, the highest level since November 8, when Trump was elected president. It has been the leading S&P gainer so far this year, making it particularly vulnerable to a decline.
"If the market truly believed the North Korea reaction was imminent, I think it would be down a lot more than it is", said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index plunged by 1.4 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX , a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the election.
Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption Japanese investors may repatriate their foreign holdings in times of heightened global uncertainty.
Selling was broad. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 6-to-1; on Nasdaq, a 3.60-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.