USA stocks were lower around mid-day as tensions escalated between the United States and North Korea and disappointing quarterly results overshadowed a gain in June wholesale inventories, weak Q2 labor costs and better-than-expected productivity. The U.S., in turn, has heavily fortified Guam - in part to keep an eye on North Korea.
"Calming words from the US Secretary of State helped ease market concerns over potential armed conflict with North Korea", said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
At 0550 GMT, the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.40 percent to 31,887 while the broader NSE Nifty lost 0.37 percent to 9,941.
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The Swiss franc jumped on Wednesday and higher yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar tumbled as the latest bout of geopolitical tensions emerging from the Korean Peninsula prompted investors to cut positions.
Thin liquidity could also amplify market moves, she added, with markets in Singapore closed for a public holiday and many market participants in Japan taking time off this week ahead of a public holiday on Friday.
MSCI's main index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was last down 0.6 per cent.
All three USA stock market indices were down Wednesday morning.
Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: "Equities are nursing losses thanks to an unwelcome escalation in geopolitical tensions between the USA and North Korea, both trading nuclear threats that have awoken volatility from its slumber and seen risk assets shunned in favour of the traditional safe havens". When the us military flew B-1 bombers over South Korea in a show of force last month after a North Korean ballistic missile test, the bombers took off from Guam. The U.S. currency was down 0.5 percent at 109.73 yen, following a retreat to 109.740, its weakest since June 15.