Markets worldwide mixed
On Friday the pound led most major currencies higher against the dollar, extending gains after the Bank of England’s hawkish shift. Stocks across Asia and Europe were a mixed bag, while oil held steady near $50 a barrel.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower as North Korea’s latest missile launch raised geopolitical tensions, though declines in the yen, gold and bonds showed investors are becoming inured to the provocation. Sterling surged to a post-Brexit high, jumping another step Friday after BOE policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe said he may support raising interest rates in the near future. The dollar dipped and Treasury yields rose before U.S. data on manufacturing and retail sales.
Markets are showing signs of becoming conditioned to actions from North Korea, which has launched more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device. Global equities climbed to a record high this week as earnings and confidence in economic growth overshadowed tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Bitcoin has slumped more than 20 percent so far this week. China notified regional regulators that it aims to stop exchange trading of cryptocurrencies by the end of September, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent as of 10:54 a.m. London time, the biggest fall in more than a week. Futures on the S&P 500 Index decreased 0.1 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.1 percent. The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index sank 0.4 percent to the lowest in almost 19 weeks. The Topix index rose 0.4 percent at the close in Tokyo to complete its best week since April.
Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,323.88 an ounce. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.1 percent to $49.95 a barrel, reaching the highest in more than six weeks on its fifth consecutive advance.