Asian Shares Mixed, Nervy As North Korea Overshadows Again
- Asian markets were mostly lower as North Korea’s nuclear program loomed over trade again
- Chinese stocks managed gains, but these were small
- The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates alone, as expected
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Asian stock markets were still in cautious mood Tuesday, with North Korea once again the reason why.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Monday that the rogue state’s leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war” as she urged the Security Council to take up the strongest sanctions regime practicable. Reports that another missile test could come soon, and that a missile launcher had been moved closer to the coast, also kept markets on edge.
The Australian Dollar got a lift against its US rival as investors focused on more buoyant export data and ignored a yawning overall current account gap. China’s private. Caixin snapshot of the service sector- the Purchasing Managers Index- came up strongly for August. The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its Official Cash Rate on hold at its 1.50% record low, as expected. In an accompanying statement the RBA once again fretted about the currency’s strength, but in truth there was little new for markets here.
Spot gold prices slipped on the day but remained understandably close to the year’s highs. Crude oil prices meanwhile edged up as the gradual restart of oil refineries closed by Hurricane Harvey lifted demand. However, gasoline prices slipped as worries about serious dearth faded.
The rest of the session will offer the UK’s service sector PMI, along with US factory and durable-goods order data. Eurozone retail sales are coming up and RBA Governor Philip Lowe is due to speak.
--- 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.