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Asian shares affected by ongoing geopolitical tensions

South Korea and Japan markets fall amidst unrest on the Korean peninsula

Continued geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsular have caused Japanese and South Korean shares to fall. 


Tensions have been heated since the USA's intervention in Syria, but Thursday saw President Donald Trump authorise a significant attack on one of North Korea's main allies, Afghanistan. The United States dropped 'The Mother Of All Bombs' on Afghanistan - the largest non-nuclear device it has ever used in combat. 


Investors have been left concerned about the possibility that North Korea could carry out nuclear tests or conduct other actions that could cause potential retaliation amongst its neighbouring countries in the coming weeks. 


Across the Asian markets, South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.4%, whilst there was a 0.1% fall in China's Shanghai shares and Japan's Nikkei. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan were down 0.4%. Many market in the region including Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore were, however closed for the Good Friday public holiday. 


Masahiro Ayukai, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said "There's been nothing to cheer about over the last 24 hours. Geopolitical tensions seem to be rising all over the place." 


The Japanese Yen reached 109.12 to the Dollar, remaining little changed from the five-month high of 108.73 to Dollar it had touched on Thursday. 


Meanwhile, in the United States, the benchmark US Treasury yield hit its lowest levels of the year after President Trump admitted to the Wall Street Journal that he was in favour of low interest rates. Good Friday meant US stock and bond futures were also closed on Friday. 


All global markets are now back open today after Monday's public holiday. Make a prediction on any currencies and start spread betting today.

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