S&P falls 1.4 percent in safety flight on North Korea tensions

11 August, 2017, 10:30 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • S&P falls 1.4 percent in safety flight on North Korea tensions

On Thursday, New York Fed President William Dudley said he expects sluggish USA inflation to rise over the next several months while the hot labor market gets even hotter.

South Korea, a longtime U.S. ally and North Korean adversary, may need to increase investment in its defence systems if conflict escalates, Bloomberg reported.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen had notched up impressive gains against the dollar on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

The Canadian dollar edged down 0.20 cents to 78.73 US cents, while oil prices gained 39 cents to 49.56 USA dollars a barrel and gold prices increased 19.10 to 1,281.70 USA dollars an ounce.

The reclusive state raised the stakes further with a detailed plan to send a salvo of missiles towards the USA territory of Guam.

North Korea first fired a missile over Japan in 1998, prompting the Japanese government to initiate its current ballistic missile-defence system with the US.

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo dismissed the threat and said the island was prepared for "any eventuality" with strategically placed defences.

Stocks around the world fell sharply on Thursday and investors moved into the yen, gold and other safe-haven assets amid more aggressive talk between the United States and North Korea.

Will the US benefit from a nuclear war?

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"Nothing good is coming out of the rhetoric", she said.

The unease about the relationship between the USA and its allies and North Korea is more prominent in other markets, several market strategists noted.

"As ever with Trump it's unclear how quickly the rest of the USA machinery will calm him, so rises are not yet huge".

But Trump's comments sparked widespread unease, with many observers noting they sounded more like North Korea's trademark rhetoric than the usually cautious diplomatic language employed by US presidents.

The markets are poised for any commentary from the President and Washington regarding North Korea's threat to attack the United States territory of Guam.

Critics included fellow Republican John McCain, head of the Armed Forces Committee in the U.S. Senate, who said Trump should tread cautiously. Elsewhere in Asia Hong Kong shares fell on North Korea concerns and selling after recent share-price gains.

Angry exchanges over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes are stoking fears of a miscalculation that could lead to catastrophic consequences on the Korean peninsula and beyond.

The dollar fetched 110.09 yen in early Asian trade Thursday, slightly up from 110.02 yen in NY on Wednesday but down from 109.74 yen in Tokyo time Wednesday. "The level of risk aversion we're seeing suggests traders still believe the prospect of military action is very small but precautions are still being taken nonetheless, as this still has the potential to escalate very quickly and unexpectedly". Tens of thousands of US troops remain stationed in South Korea and in nearby Japan.


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