Asian shares mixed with Japan and South Korea down on risk tension

Ivan Schwartz
August 13, 2017

"Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" The market is looking for crude stocks to have fallen by -2.7m barrels and gasoline by -1.5m barrels.

In currency markets, the dollar dropped as low as 109.74 yen, its lowest in about two months, from 110.39 yen in NY and the upper half of the 110-yen range in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.

The selling in U.S. markets started on August 8 after President Trump warned North Korea that threats will be "met with fire and fury". Tensions spiked yet further when North Korean state media later said Pyongyang was considering strikes near USA military installations in Guam.

"They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries", Trump said. Economists had expected another 0.1% uptick. Yields on bonds move inversely to their price.

On August 9, the market started the day with a weaker sentiment but regained strength as the day progressed. The NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index plunged by 3.4% to its lowest closing level in well over a month. The sell-off has extended to the European and Asian sessions on Friday.

Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index Direct, said: "The Swiss franc is the safe haven of choice today as risk sentiment gets hit from escalating nuclear fears between the USA and North Korea". The index hit a life-high of 415.49 earlier.

In other news, U.S. wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,927 to 916. However, strength in the Health Care and Materials sectors limited the losses.

Oil prices steadied after slumping more than 1.5 percent overnight on oversupply concerns and the move lower on Wall Street, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, after jumping USD10.80 to USD1,290.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing USD6.50 to USD1,296.60 an ounce.

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Stroud three-putted the 18th hole to fall to 6 under. "I'm probably not playing as well as I did at the end of past year ". He missed the cut in the PGA Championship for the first time since 1992, which was a year before Spieth was born.

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It urged Washington to deploy some of its atomic weapons to South Korea if it did not want to see a nuclear-armed Seoul . The joint exercises held annually are met with fierce condemnation and threats of attack by the North Korean regime .

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Guam is a U.S. territory in an area of the Pacific that North Korea has threatened to strike with missiles. It said Wednesday that plans for a strike near the island would be complete by mid-August.

This news drove up U.S. Treasury yields, making the U.S. Dollar a more attractive investment.

It had retreated to trade nearly flat on the day at 109.17 yen per dollar by 0711 GMT but was still 0.2 percent stronger against the euro at 128.28 yen.

Japanese financial markets will be closed Friday for a national holiday.

The dollar hit an eight-week low against the Japanese yen on Thursday, as the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea drove investors to seek safety in assets viewed as less risky. The Hang Seng index fell -0.4%, easing away from its two-year high print on Tuesday, while the China Enterprises Index lost -1.1%.

The euro was down 0.4 percent at just over $1.17 and nearing a two-week low, while the New Zealand dollar tumbled a full 1 percent as its central bank head bluntly said he wanted it lower.

Inflation has risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, suggesting that inflation pressures remain well under control.

Major bank Mitsubishi UFJ fell 1.06 percent at 703 yen.

In the United Kingdom, gold mining stocks Randgold Resource and Fresnillo were among the few to gain - up 2.8% and 4.9%.

Fiscal spending grew 5.4% from a year ago in July. "What's happened in North Korea is enough to do that".

Other reports by GizPress

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