Stock markets across Asia, including Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite, and the Straits Times, were flat after a rocky start on Tuesday (11 April), possibly reflecting the lack of investor confidence over rising tensions in the Korean peninsula.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman warned the US of "catastrophic consequences" for any "outrageous actions" it carried out in the peninsula, according to state mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency. The US has deployed its Navy strike group led by an aircraft carrier and multiple warships to the volatile region, leading to geopolitical tensions, which had previously dented investor confidence.
Australian and Indian stocks were not as affected by the volatility in the region as other Asian markets.
"Early movers in the Asian regions saw near neutral movements, with the exception of the Nikkei 225 which had been a victim of the USD/JPY slide. Pressure from the geopolitical tensions could weigh on investors' minds and keep gains capped for local markets," said IG Singapore market analyst Jingyi Pan.
Below is how markets across Asia traded as of 7.06am BST.
Japan: Nikkei 225 – Down 0.45% to 18,713.77.
The US intervention in Syria, which escalated in the ongoing regional conflict, caused investors to stock up on the yen as a "safe haven" asset prior to the situation in the Korean peninsula taking shape. This strengthened the yen, which negatively impacted Japanese exports and the sentiments were reflected in early traded.
However, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Monday reinforced the bank's resolve to maintain a loose monetary policy, until inflation approaches the 2% target. This could gradually bring the yen lower and stabilise exchange rates.
Volatility in Toshiba shares (-3.22%) continued as it closed as one of the strongest performers on Monday, but fell to its weakest the following day.
Hong Kong: Hang Seng – Down 0.92% to 24,039.09.
Although oil prices recovered on Tuesday, oil and gas firms constituted to some of the weakest performers on the Hang Seng index.
Stocks of Kunlun Energy (-4.91%), PetroChina (-1.73%) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (-1.54%) continued to trade lower.
China: Shanghai Composite – Down 0.42% to 3,255.6.
Australia: S&P/ASX – Up 0.36% to 5,934.398.
Singapore: Straits Time – Down 0.35% to 3,170.4.
India: BSE Sensex – Up 0.64% 29,763.9.