Asia mar­kets pare N. Korea losses, Seoul and Tokyo end up

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong stocks ended higher yes­ter­day as traders brushed off ini­tial con­cerns over North Korea’s lat­est mis­sile launch while most other Asian mar­kets man­aged to pare their losses.

Py­ongyang fired its sec­ond rocket over Ja­pan’s Hokkaido in less than a month, just days af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil im­posed sanc­tions in re­sponse to its nu­clear test.

An­a­lysts said the rocket trav­elled fur­ther than any other it has fired, adding to fears about the North’s abil­ity to strike the US main­land with an atomic bomb.

The news rat­tled re­gional mar­kets, which had started to en­joy a re­turn to op­ti­mism af­ter last week’s global sell­off sparked by the nu­clear test that fanned fears of a re­gional con­flict. How­ever, by the end of the day the losses had ei­ther been sharply cut back or re­versed.

Seoul bounced back to end 0.4 per­cent higher while the Korean won also made a U-turn to sit 0.1 per­cent up. Tokyo main­tained its gains through the day, ris­ing 0.5 per­cent as the yen weak­ened against the dol­lar on a strong US in­fla­tion re­port. The green­back briefly broke 111 yen for the first time since early Au­gust be­fore eas­ing back.

And Hong Kong rose 0.1 per­cent but Shang­hai shed 0.5 per­cent, Sin­ga­pore lost 0.2 per­cent and Syd­ney was 0.8 per­cent off. Welling­ton and Manila were lower but Taipei rose.

In early Euro­pean trade, London fell 0.3 per­cent, while Paris and Frank­furt were each 0.1 per­cent off.

“I wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily say this is an es­ca­la­tion,” James Sout­ter, port­fo­lio man­ager at K2 As­set Man­age­ment in Mel­bourne, told Bloomberg News.

“This is more of a con­tin­u­ance of provo­ca­tion. Hence mar­kets won’t like it, but I don’t think it’s nec­es­sar­ily the pre­cur­sor to a sus­tained mar­ket pull­back.”

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