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Asian Markets More Resilient To North Korean Launch, Nikkei Up

Asian Markets More Resilient To North Korean Launch, Nikkei Up

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • North Korea’s latest missile tests weighed on Asian markets at the open
  • The rogue state launched a long-range weapon which overflew Japan, sparking heavy protest
  • However the Nikkei and Kospi soon bounced back

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Asia Pacific markets showed some resilience to news of a North Korean missile launch which overflew Japan Friday, with most of the usual trading patterns visible, just to a lesser extent.

Early traders logged in to find that a weapon of unknown type had been launched from the rogue state over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, at an altitude of hundreds of kilometres. Japanese government figures pressed for the strongest possible response and the United Nations Security Council will meet later, having just sanctioned Pyongyang once again.

However, after opening lower the Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi both rose. Both also ended the day in the green, with the Nikkei up by 0.5%. Stocks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia wilted however. The latter’s ASX 200 was the region’s biggest casualty as diminished risk apperite saw raw material stocks shunned.

The currency markets appeared much less perturbed by this latest act of defiance from North Korea than they have been by past such episodes. The US Dollar inched back up against the Japanese Yen on a day of scant other local news.

Gold prices inched higher as some sought haven assets while crude oil prices headed South, albeit while holding on to most of the week’s gains. Bulls have been heartened by an International Energy Agency report predicting increased energy demand ahead.

The remainder of the global session will offer investors data on US retail sales and consumer confidence along with Canadian existing home sales. The Baker Hughes oil rig count is also coming 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.