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Asian Markets Gain Despite Latest North Korea Missile Test

Asian Markets Gain Despite Latest North Korea Missile Test

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian markets managed to stay up, for the most part, as risk appetite continues to dominate
  • News of a weekend ballistic missile test by Pyongyang made life trickier for the Kospi
  • But the Nikkei and the ASX pushed on up

Most Asian markets were in the green on Monday, thanks to strong Wall Street leads at the end of the previous week, managing to rise despite news of another missile test by North Korea.

During the session came news that Japan’s economy expanded for a fourth straight quarter, according to preliminary official numbers for the final three months of 2016. Gross Domestic Product growth was actually below estimates, if not by very much, but the Nikkei managed to shrug this off and close up 0.5%. There was also some reassurance to be had from Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s weekend talks with US President Donald Trump, from which much of the latter’s apparent protectionist ebullience was notably lacking.

Australia’s ASX 200 benchmark added 0.7%, helped as ever by the material and energy sectors. One index which was stymied by Pyongyang’s latest test was, unsurprisingly, Seoul’s Kospi. But even that crept into the black as the Asia session wound down. South Korean investors had more than missiles to worry about. Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee was summoned by special prosecutors once again for questioning related to a political scandal involving President Park Guen-hye.

Last Friday’s storming trade numbers seemed still to have Chinese shares’ back as a new week got under way, with stocks in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong all up by around 0.6%

The US Dollar continued to gain as markets eye Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony on Capitol Hill, due Wednesday. Both the Yen and the Australian Dollar were lower against the greenback. Crude oil prices slipped back through the session, despite a lack of obvious news, with both Brent and US benchmarks losing about 0.3% apiece.

We’re into the second month of the first quarter. How are DailyFX analysts’ forecasts holding up?

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.