Finance

Korean tensions keep yen near eight-week highs

Korean tensions keep yen near eight-week highs

The commodity touched over $1,284.40 an ounce on Wednesday, which marked the highest intraday price in nearly two months.

Trump suggested in remarks on Thursday that his comments threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" may not have been tough enough. "The U.S. president at a [golf] links again let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury, ' failing to grasp the on-going grave situation".

World stocks fell for a third day on Thursday and investors shifted assets into safe haven currencies the Swiss franc and yen as well as gold. Spot gold added 0.7 percent to $1,286.00 an ounce.

"Much of the rally (in gold) is because of the increased safe-haven demand", said OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan. In currencies, the yen rose 0.8 percent versus the greenback at 109.2 per dollar, the strongest level for the Japanese currency since mid June. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.64 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 22,048.7, the S&P 500 lost 0.9 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,474.02 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.13 points, or 0.28 percent, to 6,352.33.

"Where the current tensions escalate sharply, we would expect an acceleration of this week's price action, i.e. a sharp rise in risk premiums across asset classes, substantial falls in U.S. and German government bonds yields, significant JPY and CHF strength and a massive sell-off in equities, particularly in Europe which is more linked into the global cycle".

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

The Dow and S&P 500 inched higher on the day but they both posted their largest weekly percentage drops since late March.

Himachal Pradesh landslide: Six killed, rescue operations underway
Meanwhile, NH-21 Mandi to Aut has been declared unsafe and traffic has been diverted to Kulu Manali via Kamand route. The landslide happened on the national highway that connects Manali and Mandi, shortly after midnight.

There were falls of almost 2% on South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, with markets in mainland China and Australia also down - taking their cues from sharp losses on Wall Street earlier. "There are four more (inflation) prints between now and the December FOMC meeting and we expect the Fed to remain data-dependent, if a touch more cautious", TD Securities said in a note.

Japan's Yen is another victor with USD/JPY dropping from the 111 region right down to the 109's we are presently seeing.

The dollar was further weighed down on Friday by the soft United States inflation data.

Prices rose by just 0.1% last month, below expectations, with the annual inflation rate up to 1.7% from 1.6%.

Ongoing global glut concerns lingered in oil markets despite a bigger-than-expected draw in United States crude inventories, leaving prices volatile.

US crude fell 0.41 percent to $48.39 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.68, down 0.42 percent on the day.

Despite today's jump, gold still sits well below its 52-week high of over $1,350 per ounce, which it reached last summer.