"Although it is considered highly unlikely that this tension will escalate into a nuclear war, the market still needs to see how President Trump will eventually deal with his advocating "fire and fury" against North Korea's threat", said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.
The Korean People's Army said yesterday it was "carefully examining" plans for a missile attack on the US Pacific territory of Guam, which has a large US military base. The producer-price index fell 0.1 percent last month, the first decrease in nearly a year.
Wall Street stocks fell for the second straight session Wednesday as worries about US-North Korea tensions rattled investors.
Investors had rushed to safe-haven assets after strongly worded exchanges between Washington and nuclear-armed North Korea late on Tuesday.
The Swiss franc rose 0.01 per cent versus the greenback, the most since late June, at 0.96 per dollar.
Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries as investors bought safe-haven assets.
The Nikkei dropped 1.3 percent to 19,738.71, the weakest closing level since May 31, but defence equipment makers attracted buyers, with Ishikawa Seisakusho soaring 5.0 percent, Howa Machinery rising 1.1 percent and Tokyo Keiki advancing 1.4 percent. Trump's remarks were provoked by Pyongyang's threats of "physical" retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United Nations and vocally supported by the US and South Korea.
That pretty much characterizes this year's gold market.
Hong Kong shed more than one percent and Shanghai also closed down, while Seoul shares continued their sell-off after slumping Wednesday, with the won again softening.
The Canadian dollar fell to almost a 4-week low of 1.2726 against the US dollar and a 2-day low of 1.4937 against the euro, from yesterday's closing quotes of 1.2694 and 1.4928, respectively.
"Gold and silver are higher, thanks mainly to their status as safe-haven commodities".
The dollar index fell 0.05 percent, with the euro down 0.03 percent to $1.1746.
Oil prices rose after a report showed United States refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories.
USA crude CLc1 was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.
The December gold contract was ahead $16.70 United States to US$1,279.30 an ounce. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 5,773.70 while New Zealand also rose.
Sterling was last trading at $1.2998, up 0.07 percent on the day.