Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday, as tensions continue to ratchet up on the Korean Peninsula following a warning from North Korea of a nuclear attack on the U.S.
North Korean state media said on Tuesday that the hermit state was watching every move made by "enemy elements" and that its "nuclear sight (was) focused on the U.S. invasionary bases."
The development takes place as a U.S. aircraft carrier group makes its way toward the western Pacific following multiple missile launches from North Korea earlier in this year.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that "North Korea is looking for trouble," adding that the U.S. would solve the problem with or without the help of China. For its part, Chinese President Xi Jinping was quoted by state media as saying that in a telephone call with Trump he stressed situation on the Korean Peninsula should be solved peacefully.
Demand for safe-haven assets has surged in reaction to geopolitical uncertainty, with spot gold prices reaching their highest level since mid-November last year, at $1,274.81 an ounce.
"The global macro picture has been muddied by a rise in geopolitical tensions, economic data releases overnight have been largely ignored and safe haven assets have outperformed," National Australia Bank currency strategist Rodrigo Catril said in a note.