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Stocks in Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, with investors juggling a sentiment-boosting jump in oil prices with geopolitical tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Japan’s Topix was fractionally lower while the S&P/ASX 200 was flat despite solid gains for the materials and energy sectors.

Returning from a public holiday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.4 per cent as it traded for the first time since Friday.

South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.1 per cent in the wake of North Korea this morning firing a missile into the Sea of Japan.

The S&P 500 closed less than 0.1 per cent higher, with energy stocks the key gainers.

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