Gold prices fell slightly in Asia on Thursday with an apparent deal to raise the US debt ceiling until December 15 in focus, though investors noted that President Trump's willingness to work with Democrats on the extension has riled hard-line Republican leaders.
The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies fell 0.2%.
Gold hit its highest level of the year at $1,346 per ounce as investors are looked for safe havens amid geopolitical uncertainty.
Stocks in the US fell as markets re-opened for trade after the Labor Day holiday, with the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling 1.07 percent, or 234.25 points, to close at 21,753.31.
Analysts said seasonal factors are also working against stocks, with September traditionally one of the worst months for equity performance.
In early European trade, London and Paris each rose 0.1 percent while Frankfurt gained 0.2 percent.
Gold managed a slim early gain Wednesday, keeping the perceived haven metal pinned near its best level in almost a year as a leading dollar index drifted around the little-changed mark.
Large banks were hammered as investors fled into US Treasury bonds, a low-risk asset, which was expected to crimp net interest margins, a key source of profits.
According to South Korea's central news agency, the North Korean regime was speculated to be planning another intercontinental ballistic missile test into the Pacific Ocean.
The dollar dipped 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies and was down 0.2 percent versus the yen, which investors often seek during uncertain times.
"The disappointing U.S. employment data released on Friday has also complimented the metal's upside, with investors now re-evaluating whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates a third time this year". Chinese bourses eked out small 0.2-0.3 per cent gains but Seoul and Tokyo remained red.
Global stock markets drifted lower Wednesday amid rising risk aversion linked to the ongoing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, while oil prices pushed ahead as Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean.
Eight US oil refineries with 2.1m barrels per day of refining capacity, or 11.4% of the US total, were shut as of Monday afternoon, the Department of Energy said. Elsewhere in the precious market, spot platinum was up 0.27% or $2.77 to $1,010.32 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.25% or $2.48 to $985.28 an ounce.