Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday and the dollar gave up the gains it had made when the U.S. Treasury Secretary spoke in support of a stronger currency as escalating tensions around North Korea dragged sentiment lower. Laura Frykberg reports.
Broadcasters: NO ACCESS NORTH KOREA Digital: NO ACCESS NORTH KOREA**~ North Korea's display of military might.. And threat of using it, has sent shivers down the spine of the West. And markets in the East too. With Asia-Pacific shares dropping 0.7 percent. And the Korean won weakening about 0.8. The dollar also dipping against a basket of major currencies SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "The yen, the Swiss franc, sterling to a certain extent running a little bit higher, the U.S. D and high beta emerging market currencies being sold off." Europe didn't escape the tension either. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6 percent in early trade. Germany's DAX was also weaker. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "Of course there are problems of a geo-strategic nature: the Americans attacking Syria, then there is North Korea. But the United States is saying 'we are back. We want to be involved.' If the United States is getting involved you're forcing the others, the Russians and the Chinese to help find a solution, especially in North Korea." The hard-hit Turkish Lira made some gains though. Strengthening 0.4 percent after Sunday's referendum victory for President Erdogan. But 10 year French government bond yields took a hit ahead of the first round of the French electIon. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "Investors seem to be fairly concerned about what's happening. I really wouldn't be surprised, if come the end of the week if we see the euro sell off. Just get ready for any surprise on Sunday night." And there's been another one, Britian announcing an election in June. The news sending sterling up against the dollar.