The North Korean nuclear crisis dragged stock markets further into the red on Wednesday, as world powers struggled to agree how to deal with the isolated state, while doubts about further US interest rate hikes hit the dollar.
With few other catalysts to deflect attention from the face-off with Pyongyang, investors continue to flock to haven assets, sending gold to near one-year highs and the yen flying.
Investors were meanwhile awaiting the European Central Bank s regular policy meeting on Thursday.
The head of Germany s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, urged the ECB to end its easy-money policy to avoid inflating market bubbles and relieve struggling eurozone lenders.
For now, though, the focus remained firmly on North Korea.
“Global stock markets appear to be in a period of nervous uncertainty, as the threat of another North Korean test looms large over any investors wishing to invest in risky assets,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG trading group.