Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Dollar edges higher but outlook wary

Reuters Reuters
Preston Stone | 13 August, 2017, 17:40

The unusually detailed report of an attack plan by North Korea's official KCNA news agency marked a further escalation in tensions between Pyongyang and Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea earlier this week it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States. The S&P 500 gained 3.11 points, or 0.1%, to end at 2,441.32, supported by gains in consumer-discretionary, technology and health-care sectors. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

MSCI's main index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was last down 0.5 per cent.

"More likely than anything else, the price action was a function of an overextended US equity market that has been in need for a healthy correction off record highs", LMAX Exchange analysts said in a morning note.

North Korea "has no intentions of backing down".

Singapore banks led the decline, with DBS Group shedding 2.2 per cent or 46 cents to $20.80; OCBC Bank fell 12 cents or 1.1 per cent to $11.20; United Overseas Bank Group lost 1.3 per cent or 33 cents to $24.20. It hit a 15-month low of 92.548 on August 2.

Australian shares were down 1.3 percent, set for a weekly loss of 0.6 percent. The stock slid $9.41, or 5.7 percent, to $155.33.

"I think what the President was doing was sending a strong message to North Korea", Tillerson said.

Trump's second warning, however, has shaken markets that have been largely resilient this year, swatting away a slew of risks. They estimated it at 42 % before the publication of the figure for inflation.

"We're not very oversold yet so the market still has more downside left to it".

Wall Street's widely followed measure of market anxiety, the CBOE Volatility index, was up 0.79 points at 16.77 on Friday, its highest since November.

The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the usa dollar, and US -traded Nikkei stock futures dropped 2 percent to their lowest since mid May.

NFL star Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem amid Charlotesville violence
Two of the Raiders' top defensive players, All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin , joined Carr and Lynch as spectators.

Spot silver also surged 27¢ to $17.19/oz, blowing past a new two-month high. It was down 0.2 percent at 108.98 yen, after retreating 0.7 percent on Thursday.

Traditional safe-haven currencies including the Swiss franc and Japanese yen rose against the United States dollar.

But "the yen may be expected to lose its safe haven status if U.S".

Given the tensions between North Korea and the US, I don't think investors will react at all to the reports.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.36 percent to $1.1812.

Disappointing U.S. inflation and jobs data have not helped the dollar.

Benchmark US 10-year notes rose 9/32 in price to yield 2.2494 per cent, from 2.282 per cent late on Tuesday.

Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month. This week has seen its biggest rise since June 2016.

Crude futures extended losses on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over a global oversupply.

Concluding with oil, WTI was last 1.0% down on the day, just above $48 a barrel, while Brent crude was 0.9% down, around $51.40 a barrel.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 1.1%, or 79.88 points, at 7,309.96.

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