Sunday, 20 August, 2017

North Korea tensions drag down stocks but boost gold

Guam is home to thousands of US service personnel and key military bases European Stocks Called Lower as North Korea Tensions Drive Investors Into Safe-Haven Assets
Heather Davidson | 10 August, 2017, 00:43

The U.S. dispatched two B-1Bs late last month in response to the North's test-firing of another intercontinental ballistic missile. The greenback was down 1.1 against the franc, its worst drop in more than six weeks. The EUR/JPY was down 0.54% to trade at 128.924 Yen while the GBP/JPY was down 0.58% to trade at 142.489 Yen.

The Swissie, as traders sometimes call the currency, tends to gain during times of economic or geopolitical stress.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor nation and there is an assumption investors there will repatriate funds should a crisis eventuate.

Two B-1B US strategic bombers trained again over Korea earlier this week, a defense official in Seoul said Wednesday.

Pyongyang said on Wednesday it was considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after Trump said North Korea would face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States, his strongest warning yet for North.

"It's just a classic risk-off day", said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in NY.

With Asian bourses and US stock futures weakening early on Wednesday, the safe-haven 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR was last down 3 basis points. Safe haven currencies, specifically the Japanese Yen but also the Swiss Franc, have found widespread support as the uncertainty and tension rises.

Risk off sentiment was broadly pervasive through the currency markets especially with European stocks set to follow Asia's lead lower with major index futures indicating a 0.5 to 0.8 percent decline.

Most Asian currencies stumbled, with the Korean won on pace for its biggest fall in almost eight weeks.

The indigenous people are referred to as Chamorros and are considered USA citizens by birth. -North Korea tension also weighed on the Canadian dollar, which weakened against its USA counterpart, despite higher oil prices and stronger-than-expected domestic housing data.

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