Economy

Dollar slumps, Tokyo tanks as North Korea tensions spike

Dollar slumps, Tokyo tanks as North Korea tensions spike”

Despite the gains on the day, the major averages moved lower for the week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.4 percent in its third session of declines to a near one-month low, heading for a 2.1 percent drop for the week.

Appetite for haven assets continued to support gold, which rose 0.2% Friday to $1,293 a troy ounce.

The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5 percent to around 109.70 per dollar. The S&P 500 index was also down 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.2%.

The smaller than expected increase in consumer prices has led to optimism that the Federal Reserve will not be in a hurry to raise interest rates.

The tensions, since Trump made his "fire and fury" comments on Tuesday, have wiped out almost $1 trillion from the global equity markets.

A statement attributed to North Korea's head of strategic forces, General Kim Rak Gyom, said the plan for the strike would be ready by the middle of the month and would await orders from leader Kim Jong-un.

United States equities had been on track for a 10th-straight record session Tuesday and the dollar was initially up after the JOLTS survey showed job openings hit a record in the U.S. last month.

Trump issued a new warning to Pyongyang yesterday, saying in a tweet: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

Trump's comments came after a Washington Post report (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.0938becb046e) that North Korea has built a miniaturized nuclear warhead. Regions Financial shed 23 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.07. The NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index plunged by 3.4% to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

Markets are now focused on US consumer price data for July, due later in the session. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier. (JWN) jumped almost 3% in premarket trading after exceeding profit and sales forecasts over its recent quarter.

South Korea's KOSPI fell 1.7 per cent yesterday to its lowest since May 24, but its losses for the week were a relatively modest 3.2 per cent. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

This will see Vantiv shareholders owning the majority of the new group with 57% and Worldpay shareholders with the remaining 43%.

On Thursday, the CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its highest since the US presidential election.

Back in London Worldpay closed as another gainer in the FTSE 100, up 0.4%, after it agreed to a GBP9.30 billion takeover by U.S. rival Vantic after weeks of talks, in a deal which is set to create a GBP22.20 billion payments giant.

Benchmark US 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.1905 per cent, from 2.211 per cent late on Thursday. Nonetheless, most Americans (72 percent) are uneasy about the possibility of conflict with North Korea, according to a CBS News poll, and 61 percent say they are uneasy about the president's approach to the situation.



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