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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned parliament on Thursday it was possible North Korea was capable of placing nerve agent Sarin on missile warheads, but reiterated to lawmakers that Japan and China seek a peaceful resolution to tensions on the peninsula.

Mr Abe said Japan and the US share a stance of dialogue and pressure on North Korea.

The comments helped maintain a region-wide preference for haven assets, which rose on Thursday.

Gold pushed towards an intraday high of $1,288 per this morning following the comments, falling back to be flat at $1,286.89.

The Japanese yen, considered a haven, was holding at a 5-month high this morning as comments from Donald Trump calling the greenback too strong sent the dollar into a slide. The yen is 0.2 per cent stronger at ¥108.85 a dollar.

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