HONG KONG (AP) -- European shares gained Wednesday while Asian indexes were mixed and oil, gold and the yen strengthened further as rising geopolitical risks kept investors on edge.
KEEPING SCORE: European shares rose in early trading. France's CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 5,123.01 and Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent to 12,183.46. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 7,386.01. U.S. indexes were poised to open higher as Dow futures climbed 0.1 percent to 20,619.00 and broader S&P 500 futures steady at 2,351.60.
GLOBAL GLOOM: Investors are cautious as world events this week complicate the investment outlook. Tensions are rising over North Korea, which threatened the U.S. against making any military moves after Washington ordered an aircraft carrier to head toward the divided Korean Peninsula. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow with the aim of getting Russia to ditch its ally Syria following last week's chemical attack. France's election later in the month is also giving investors a reason to hunker down and avoid taking any big risks.
QUOTEWORTHY: "Global tensions and a rush to safety ruled the New York session, and this has followed through to Asia," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. "With a long weekend globally nearly upon us and further North Korea risk this Friday, the safety first theme is likely to continue."
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index tumbled 1 percent to 18,552.61 after the dollar fell under 110 yen for the first time in five months, pressuring the country's exporters. Hong Kong's Hang Seng reversed its losses in the final hour of trading, rising 0.9 percent to 24,313.50, while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China lost 0.5 percent to 3,273.83. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,934.00 and South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.2 percent to 2,128.90. Shares in Southeast Asia were higher.
TROUBLED TOSHIBA: Shares of the Japanese electronics maker extended losses, falling more than 2 percent after it raised doubts about its ability to survive as a company. In an unaudited financial report, the company said there are "material events and conditions" that make it questionable whether it can continue as a going concern.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to a five-month low against the yen as investors seeking security amid global uncertainty piled into the Japanese currency, which is traditionally seen as a haven. The dollar weakened to 109.72 yen from 110.94 yen late Monday, the first time it has broken past the 110 level since mid-November. The euro rose to $1.0622 from $1.0604.
PRECIOUS METAL: Gold, another asset sought by nervous investors, continued to gain, rising $1.80 to a five-month high of $1,276.00 an ounce.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude extended its rally. Oil rose 31 cents to $53.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 32 cents to close at $53.40 a barrel on Thursday, its sixth gain in a row. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, added 39 cents to $56.62 a barrel.