Investors scrambled to the safety of yen and gold after US President Trump announced that America had launched missile strikes in Syria on Friday (April 7). The missile strikes mark America's first direct attack against the Bashar Al Assad government.

About 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at the Al Shayrat airbase near Homs from where Assad's forces had allegedly launched a chemical attack on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Thursday (April 6).

The missile attack could further strain the US' relations with Russia and Iran, known Assad allies.

An increase in political turmoil generally pushes investors to the yen and gold, which are well-known "safe haven" assets.

But the sudden strengthening of the yen could adversely affect Japanese exports and the effect on the Nikkei remains to be seen.

Oil prices rose as the missile strike further exacerbated the geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East. Brent crude rose 1.02% to $55.45 (£44.48).

The attack on the Syrian airbase also served to dwarf the anxiety surrounding the Trump-Xi summit at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

The following index quotes have been logged on 8:48 BST

Japan: Nikkei 225 Index (NKY:IND)- up by 0.36% to 18,664.63

The effect of the strengthening yen on the Nikkei 225 remains uncertain.

Rakuten continues to emerge as one of the index's strongest performers with a 3.06% increase.

Hong Kong: Hang Seng Index (HSI:IND)- down by 0.37% to 24,184.75

The index's strongest performers are PetroChina Co Ltd (1.95% increase) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (0.93% increase)

The rebound of oil prices after the American missile strike may explain why oil and gas companies consist of the index's strongest performers.

China: Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP:IND)- up by 0.17% to 3,286.616

Australia: S&P/ASX Index (AS51:IND)- up by 0.11% to 5,862.5

Singapore: Straits Time Index (FSSTI:IND)- down by 0.22% to 3,168.45

India: S&P BSE SENSEX Index (SENSEX:IND)- down by 0.25% to 29,852.81

The Reserve bank of India kept its key repo rate unchanged as per market expectations on Thursday (April 6).

However, the Indian central bank unexpectedly raised the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points in order to narrow the gap between repo and reverse repo rates.