Fall as tensions brew after North Korea fires missile over Japan

JAKARTA: Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday in line with broader Asia as investors sought out safe havens such as gold after North Korea fired a missile over northern Japan.
North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido early on Tuesday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, marking a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The test, which experts said appeared to have been a recently developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile, came as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills on the peninsula, against which North Korea strenuously objects. Asian markets tumbled following the launch, with MSCI's  index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding as much as 0.9 percent. Spot gold hit its highest since early November and was last up 0.5 percent.
"I think it is a knee-jerk reaction as to what happened with North Korea. It still depends on how the United States is going to respond," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc.
In Southeast Asia, Malaysian shares led the decline, with the main stock index falling to a more than one-month low.     Financials and industrial stocks were the biggest drag. Malayan Banking Bhd dropped to a near three-month low,
while industrial conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd fell as much as 2.1 percent.
   Singapore shares fell as much as 0.7 percent before   reversing losses to trade 0.2 percent down. 
Financial and telecom stocks were among the biggest losers with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd falling to its lowest in more than one month and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd shedding as much as 1.1 percent.