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Asian Stocks Down As Investors Fret North Korea, Crude Prices Gain

Asian Stocks Down As Investors Fret North Korea, Crude Prices Gain

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks were broadly lower Tuesday
  • More hot words between Washington and Pyongyang did the trick
  • Oil prices gained as Turkey threatened Kurdish supplies

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Perceived haven assets were to the fore in Asia Tuesday, to the modest detriment of equity markets across the region, thanks to more warlike rhetoric between the US and North Korea.

The latter’s Foreign Minister said Monday that the US had declared war, something the White House denied. However, reports of Pyongyang moving more aircraft to its eastern coastal regions kept the issue front and centre for investors. Market falls weren’t large but they were broad. The Nikkei 225 ended down 0.3%, with slips of similar magnitude seen elsewhere except for Shanghai where losses were marginal. The ASX fell into the close having held up for much of the day.

Oil prices extended gains with international benchmark Brent hitting a 26-month high. Turkish threats to cut supply from Iraq’s Kurdistan region in the wake of its pro-independence referendum were behind much of the rise.

In the currency space there was a familiar picture of demand for the Yen in the face of North Korean rhetoric, while gold, too made gains. Action may have been limited however by the wait to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. She will speak on the meaty topics of “Inflation, Uncertainty and Monetary Policy” at 1645GMT.

That aside the rest of the global session offers US consumer confidence as the probable economic data highlight. New home sales numbers will form part of the support act as will mortgage lending figures out of the UK. European Central Bank board member Peter Praet will speak in Frankfurt.

--- 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.

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