Mar­kets higher as geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions ease

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

On Wed­nes­day Euro­pean stocks fol­lowed most Asian eq­ui­ties higher as ten­sions sur­round­ing North Korea eased. The yen dropped as de­mand for safe­haven as­sets be­gan to fade, although gold and the Swiss franc held Tuesday’s gains.

Al­most ev­ery sec­tor of the Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex ad­vanced af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s mea­sured re­sponse to North Korea’s mis­sile launch and com­ments from Kim Jong Un sug­gested the sit­u­a­tion won’t es­ca­late. Eq­uity in­dexes in Ja­pan, Hong Kong and South Korea rose, while U.S. stock fu­tures were also green. Most bonds fell as the risk-off mood ebbed. The euro weak­ened and the dol­lar edged higher as Gold­man Sachs As­set Man­age­ment called the green­back “very, very at­trac­tive.”

Kim said Wed­nes­day the mis­sile was fired in protest at an­nual mil­i­tary ex­er­cises be­tween the U.S. and South Korea. Cou­pled with Trump’s tem­pered re­marks — the pres­i­dent said the U.S. will con­sider “all op­tions” in its re­sponse to the provo­ca­tion — in­vestors judged the stand­off is un­likely to in­ten­sify, help­ing to un­der­pin risk as­sets.

The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex ad­vanced 0.6 per­cent as of 7 a.m. in New York, the largest gain in a week. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 In­dex ad­vanced 0.4 per­cent, the big­gest gain in a week. Germany’s DAX In­dex ad­vanced 0.5 per­cent, the largest gain in a week. Fu­tures on the S&P 500 In­dex climbed 0.1 per­cent to the high­est in a week.

The Topix in­dex rose 0.6 per­cent at the close in Tokyo and the Kospi in­dex added 0.3 per­cent. The Hang Seng In­dex in Hong Kong climbed 1.2 per­cent, while the Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex fluc­tu­ated be­fore edg­ing lower. The MSCI Asia Pa­cific In­dex rose 0.2 per­cent. The Ja­panese yen de­clined 0.1 per­cent to 109.86 per dol­lar.

Gold climbed 0.2 per­cent to $1,311.57 an ounce, the strong­est in about 11 months. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude dipped 0.5 per­cent to $46.19 a bar­rel, the low­est in more than five weeks.

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