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ibusinesslines.com July 21, 2018


Asia report: Markets mixed as North Korea tensions tighten

13 August 2017, 07:08 | Kelvin Horton

Asia report: Markets mixed as North Korea tensions tighten

The new 50 Swiss Franc note is seen at a market stall after its release by the Swiss National Bank in Bern Switzerland

Tensions have been rising in the Korean Peninsula, and reached a new level with President Trump's "threat" of "fire and fury" against North Korea if they should proceed with a missile strike against Guam, a United States territory located in the Pacific.

Currency traders consolidated positions in the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, and pushed up the dollar index by unwinding some of the recent bets on the euro.

Wall Street's fear index jumped nearly 1.5 points after President Donald Trump's stern warning North Korea would be smart to stop threatening the United States.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,474.92. Gold (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-trades-at-2-mo-high-as-north-korea-tension-boosts-haven-investments-over-stocks-2017-08-10) settled up 0.8% to $1,290.10 an ounce, trading at a roughly two-month high.

US crude oil futures settled almost 2 percent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.68 percent lower, while Japan's Nikkei lost 1.29 percent. The U.S. currency was down 0.4 percent at 109.865 yen, following a retreat to 109.835, its weakest since mid-June. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption Japanese investors may repatriate their foreign holdings in times of heightened global uncertainty.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent to 7,306, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,058.

Switzerland's franc on Wednesday posted its biggest single-day rise against the euro since the central bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015.


With Asian bourses and US stock futures weakening early on Wednesday, the safe-haven 10-year Treasury yield was last down 3 basis points.

Pan American Silver Corp, which reported second-quarter results late Wednesday, rallied 10.7 percent to C$22.47.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S.", Trump said.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $48.37 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, declined 20 cents to $51.70 per barrel in London.

TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit its lowest close in a month on Thursday as oil prices fell and investors sought refuge in safe-haven assets amid rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Oil prices edged higher after a report showed USA refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited gains.

Overall, gold continued to edge higher to the $1,280 per ounce area in European trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 2.1 percent to 6,216.87.



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