Gold prices have hit an 11-month high as North Korea tensions escalate

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North Korea is thought to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile. (Source: Getty)

London-listed gold miners shot up after gold hit an 11-month high today, as investors flocked to safe haven assets after tensions between the US and North Korea continued to escalate.

Gold futures rose 0.7 per cent to just under $1,340 per ounce, their highest price since Donald Trump's election win last November.

That pushed gold miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources to the top of the FTSE 100 in morning trading, rising 2.1 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively, after the US and Chinese administrations traded barbs over sanctions, while reports from Korean media suggested North Korea was preparing for the launch of a ballistic missile. 

Pyongyang's underground detonation of a hydrogen bomb over the weekend drew global condemnation, with Donald Trump tweeting what was perceived to be a veiled threat to China: 

Read more: How world leaders are reacting to North Korea's H-bomb

Today the Chinese administration branded the comments "unacceptable" and "unfair". 

"Another week, another provocation, as North Korea re-emerges as the key driver of market sentiment this morning,"  said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

"Weakness for Asian markets were provided a predictable precursor to a negative session in Europe, with the FTSE losing ground once more. Unfortunately there is unlikely to be any end in sight for this current standoff with North Korea, with few options seemingly on the table to demilitarise the regime.

"One thing is for sure, with North Korea testing increasingly threatening weapons, the growing threat of a nuclear war is going to continue bolstering gold prices."

Read more: Trump: "Talking to North Korea not the answer"