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Yen, gold rise on renewed North Korea tensions

Havens were back in demand on Monday following North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test, with Japan’s yen and gold both gaining ground in early Asia trading.

The yen firmed as much as 0.9 per cent against the greenback on Monday but had pulled back in the morning session to be 0.4 per cent firmer at ¥109.77 per dollar.

Gold was up 0.8 per cent at $1,335.74 per ounce, having gained as much as 0.9 per cent earlier in the session. That brought the precious metal to its highest level in nearly 10 months, just shy of the intraday high seen on November 9, 2016 in the face of US presidential election results.

The dollar index tracking the greenback against a basket of peers was off just 0.2 per cent at 92.657.

North Korea on Sunday said it had tested a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted on a ballistic missile that was a “perfect success”. The test, estimated to have been about 10 times more powerful than previous detonations, triggered a magnitude 6.3 earthquake.