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Home/Asian shares, won move south on worries over North Korea

Asian shares, won move south on worries over North Korea

Japanese and South Korean shares fell while the won currency came under pressure on Friday, as rising tensions in the Korean peninsula dented confidence in the world's economy.

The dollar was on the back foot against many other currencies after comments from President Donald Trump earlier this week that the U.S. currency was "getting too strong" and that he would like to see interest rates stay low.

European markets are also shut for the holiday.

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

Investors were spooked by worries North Korea may conduct a nuclear test or conduct other actions that could provoke neighbouring countries as early as this weekend.

News that the United States on Thursday dropped "the mother of all bombs", the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, in Afghanistan soured investor moods further.

In currency market, the Korean won fell 1.0 per cent from its previous local close to 1,140.6 to the dollar.

But the dollar lacked momentum against most other currencies after Trump's verbal intervention on Wednesday.

The Japanese yen hit a five-month high of 108.73 to the dollar on Thursday and stayed close to that level, last trading at 108.93 yen per dollar.