Asian shares, U.S. stock futures, dollar slip on rising Korean tensions

12 August, 2017, 21:54 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Dow goes for 10 record highs in a row

First, a wave of selling doused Asia's markets - sending Tokyo's Nikkei 225 down 1.3% and pressuring South Korea's Kospi Index to a 1.1% decline. The precious metal climbed 1.3 per cent in the previous session, its biggest gain since mid-May, and touched $1,278.66 an ounce, it highest level since June 14.

Strong gains in NY, where the Dow saw repeated record highs up until three day ago, had kept investor optimism high when news of the conflict first broke, Currie said.

"Depending on how North Korea acts, the yen could further rise (relative to the dollar)", a dealer at a foreign exchange brokerage said.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 1.6 percent to 5,135 while Germany's DAX was down 1.3 percent at 12,133.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 54.38 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,898.39, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 8.69 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,446.90.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 17 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 36,232 contracts.

The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.5 percent to around 109.70 per dollar. Earlier, the pair hit a peak of $0.73684 while the session low stands at $0.73190.

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These have ranged from an investigation into Russia's possible interference in the 2016 USA presidential election, to concerns about China's risky debt levels, to stubbornly low inflation in the US.

Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis.

Against the dollar the euro was 0.16 per cent lower. Two weeks ago it saw its biggest weekly fall against the euro since the start of 2015.

"It looks like a technical correction, but if there's more bad news in the days to come, or if geopolitical tensions escalate, this short-term correction could become a major correction for stock markets here and globally", CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said. "So we're not going to get to a year-over-year number of 2-percent until some of these very low readings drop out of the statistics 6 to 10 months from now".

Gartman's comments follow Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio's gold recommendation: "We can also say that if the above things go badly, it would seem that gold (more than other safe haven assets like the dollar, yen, and treasuries) would benefit", Dalio wrote in a LinkedIn blog post. Brent crude was up 80 cents at $53.50 a barrel and U.S. crude was up 60 cents and back up to $50.

XAutoplay: On | Off Gold climbed as traders exited stocks and fled to more secure ground, as the back-and-forth saber-rattling between the US and North Korea escalated.

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