Jueves, 21 Febrero, 2019

Asian shares mostly lower as North Korean tensions simmer

Asian stocks set for a rough ride as tensions rise Asian stocks struggle, dollar shines as geopolitical risks grow
Manuel Armenta | 15 Abril, 2017, 08:40

NEW YORK, April 12 The dollar was little changed on Wednesday after falling to a almost five-month low against the Japanese yen as worries over geopolitical tensions checked investors' risk appetite.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 212.17 points, or 1.14 percent, from Wednesday to 18,340.44, its lowest intraday level since early December.

The euro also fell 1 percent against the yen as investors weighed the possibility of a face-off between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has surged in polls recently. A standoff between the US and Russian Federation after an American missile strike on Syria and Trump's pledge to solve the North Korean "problem" with or without China have deepened concerns about political stability.

Analysts expect earnings for all S&P 500 companies to have risen 10 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data. Korea was down 0.5 percent while Australia was up by 0.4 percent. According to analysts, geopolitics are now the focus of the government and the markets with a number of Australian mining stocks rising by around 2% on Wednesday as Gold prices rose 1.6% to nearly $1,280 per troy ounce.

The COBE Volatility Index, also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge", closed above 15 for the first time since United States election day.

Trading was largely muted on Wednesday as safe-haven demand kept U.S. Treasury yields lower and investors saw little reason to make major moves in the currency market. Worries have been growing about North Korea's missile tests and nuclear weapons program, and over the weekend the Pentagon said a Navy carrier strike group was moving toward the western Pacific Ocean to provide more of a physical presence in the region.

Futures on Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index were each down 0.3 percent in most recent trading.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX edged 0.1 percent lower to 12,194 and the CAC 40 of France was 0.2 percent higher at 5,116.

Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.36 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the U.S. and Russia under Trump as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.

Automakers dropped 2.0 percent, with Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co all falling between 1.4-2.0 percent. South Korea's Kospi increased 0.2 percent, after dropping 2 percent over the previous six sessions.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 1 cent to $53.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Bank of Japan said that producer prices were up 0.2 percent on month in March - shy of expectations for a gain of 0.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from February following an upward revision from 0.2 percent.

OIL: Benchmark crude oil was headed higher for the fifth day in a row. Spot gold, which along with the yen is perceived as a haven asset in times of reduced risk appetite, climbed 1.5 per cent to $US1273.01 an ounce overnight, the highest since early November. Brent crude, the standard for worldwide oil prices, gained 6 cents to $56.04 a barrel.