Furor Over Trump's Charlottesville Remarks Raise Fears of a Stalled Legislative Agenda

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And on Friday, billionaire Carl Icahn became the latest executive to abdicate his position, tweeting: "Today, with President Trump's blessing, I ceased to act as special advisor to the President on issues relating to regulatory reform. informal role as special advisor to the president on issues relating to regulatory reform".

Yields have fallen in recent days following the European Central Bank comments and amid the dash for defensive assets, with 10-year Bunds at a one-week low of 0.39 percent while 10-year Treasuries matched one-week lows hit on Thursday.

In other remarks from prominent Fed officials, speaking on the same day, Mineapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari said than when deciding when to start unwinding its bond portfolio, the U.S. central bank would take into consideration the state of negotiatios on raising the federal government's debt ceiling.

In New York, the S&P 500 Index tumbled by its second-biggest drop of the year with financial and technology shares among the worst hit, as news broke of a van ploughing into pedestrians in the Catalan capital, killing 13. The market sees a two-in-three chance of another hike in October, overnight index swaps figures show, little changed from before the inflation data.

Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn, who serves as the director of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, is under growing pressure to quit after Trump's moral equivocation on Tuesday between Nazis and the leftwingers who came to stop the Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1 per cent to 19,702.63, weighed down by a stronger yen as the USA dollar wilted and shrugging off data showing the country's exports rose for an eighth straight month in July.

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ING Bank predicted the dollar would remain pinned near current levels, at the expense of the yen.

Gold was nearly flat at $1,287.67 an ounce. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1741 compared to yesterday's $1.1723. "But it contributes to the uncertainty that's creeping in" about Trump's agenda, Hellwig said. The tech heavy Nasdaq composite fell 1.9 percent.

The market had been on edge since last week after tensions between the United States and North Korea flared up, with nuclear-armed Pyongyang threatening to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam. The China Enterprises Index also lost 0.2 per cent, to 10,801.42 points. It rose almost 1 percent against the dollar as nervousness over stock market valuations and the future of an eight-year global rally seeped into other assets.

Barrick Gold was up 0.2 per cent to $21.40, while Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd rose 2.5 per cent to $14.81.

The University of MI is scheduled to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of August at 10 am ET.

Global oil prices edged higher but were still on track to close the week between 2 per cent to 3 per cent lower.