ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2017


Dollar hits eight-week low vs. yen, North Korea tensions spook investors

12 August 2017, 10:46 | Kelvin Horton

Dollar hits eight-week low vs. yen, North Korea tensions spook investors

Dollar hits eight-week low vs. yen, North Korea tensions spook investors

Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric against North Korea and its leader on Thursday, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory. Other safe havens were the Swiss franc and gold.

Instead, investors turned to the traditional safe-haven assets sought in troubled times, the Japanese yen strengthened 0.5 per cent to 109.73 to the dollar, an eight-week high, and the Swiss franc reversed a two-week losing streak and gained almost 1 per cent to 0.9650 per dollar.

The S&P 500 index had its biggest one-day drop in nearly three months on Thursday as investors fled riskier assets, with technology stocks leading the charge, in response to an increasingly aggressive exchange of threats between the United States and North Korea. Come the United Kingdom trading session and a continued sell-off was seen, taking the pair to an eight week low.

People walk past an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, January 23, 2017. "The level of risk aversion we're seeing suggests traders still believe the prospect of military action is very small but precautions are still being taken nonetheless, as this still has the potential to escalate very quickly and unexpectedly".

The dollar fell to 109.85 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

"I do think I expect inflation to also start to move higher in the medium term but probably not get all the way back to 2-percent on a year-over-year basis, because, remember, we've had these very weak inflation readings for a number of month", Dudley said. The single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.83 - the highest since April - and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.65. Over the next three months, the average gain has been good but not great - +1.15%. Platinum gained 1.1 per cent to $982.40 per ounce after touching $983.60, the highest since April 18.


The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft U.S. inflation data.

"Although we're seeing some flight to safe havens, it seems that it's more of a risk consolidation". Excluding food and energy components, PPI was also down 0.1% m/m in July, while the annual rate moderated to 1.8% from 1.9%, missing forecasts of 2.1%.

The major European also saw further downside on the day.

Weekly Unemployment Claims rose unexpectedly by 224K. Expectations were for 240k and compares with a revised 241k in the prior week.

Disney also announced it will launch two new streaming television services including one for its ESPN-branded sports channel, while ending its deal with Netflix as it shifts towards direct content distribution. The WSJ dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was flat.

FED WATCH: As well as monitoring the geopolitical backdrop, investors are looking ahead to an appearance Thursday by Bill Dudley, president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of NY, for signs of the Fed's outlook on the economy. The VIX last stood at 11.49, just below Tuesday's high of 11.52. That lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.7% from 1.6% in June. It added 39 cents to $49.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Oil prices veered lower as early gains faded. On the Nasdaq, 1,462 issues rose and 1,227 fell.



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