Stock markets around the world were under pressure on Wednesday amid increased tensions between the USA and North Korea following comments from President Donald Trump, and big entertainment stocks were among the many decliners.
IG's opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start the day 0.45 percent lower at 7,509 points.
The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea.
Analysts said media and entertainment stocks also seemed to get caught up in the broader market drop, but emphasized it was often hard to isolate reasons behind specific stocks' movements. Gold hit a two-month high of US$1,278 an ounce amid the nervousness. Brent crude futures lost 0.8 percent to $51.5 per barrel on persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in USA crude inventories. Financials fell the most, down about 1 percent.
"While not necessary unexpected - as the U.S. had to respond to threats made by North Korea that they will fire rockets due to land just off the coast of Guam soon - new comments by Trump propelled stocks lower".
Simmering tensions between the USA and North Korea continued to weigh on investors.
The influential financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.5 percent to C$92.88, and Manulife Financial Corp falling 4.7 per cent to C$24.43, its largest drop since early August a year ago.
The index was down 1.44% or 108.12 points to close at 7389.94 on Thursday in its worst performance for four months.
U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric toward North Korea on Thursday, saying the reclusive communist country should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks about attacking the United States or its allies.
Wall Street closed sharply lower, with Dow Jones down over 200 points on Thursday.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.20 percent. Viacom slid 60 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $30.17.
J.C. Penney slumped 24.4 percent to a record low after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. Humana rose $3.59, or 1.4 percent, to $253.81.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,463.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 slid 1.4 percent.
South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 per cent to 2,319.83 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.8 per cent to 26,946.81.
The September crude contract was up 20 cents to US$49.76 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up seven cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.93 a pound.
CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar weakened to 110.35 yen from 110.72 yen.