In Australia, a combination of mixed earnings and global agitation saw the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index each closing down 0.1 per cent per cent to 5760.9 points and 5810.6 points respectively.
Wall Street opened lower with the Dow Jones industrial average falling about 100 points shortly after open, the S&P 500 slipping 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite pulling back 0.75 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index reached its highest level since May soaring more than 24 percent to trade at 13.79.
The FTSE 100 in London fell 1.2 per cent to 7411.88.
European stocks also slipped with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index losing 0.7 percent at the close.
The global sell-off came after US. President Donald Trump increased his rhetoric against the regime of Kim Jong Un to an unprecedented level and North Korea called his bluff by outlining details for a missile strike near the US territory of Guam.
“Traders would require nerves of steel to start buying into the stock market now, given standoff between the U.S. and North Korea,” David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets U.K., said in a note to clients.
Traditional safe havens have been rising in response to the tensions, Gold futures rose nearly 2 percent this week, and the Swiss franc is up 0.7 percent against the US dollar.