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Geopolitical Tensions Remain Elevated into the Weekend

marctomarket.com / by  / August 11, 2017

There has been no apparent attempt by either North Korea or the United States to ease the rhetorical flourishes that have made global investors nervous.  Risk assets were liquidated, and the funding currencies, particularly the Japanese yen and Swiss franc were bought back.  The yen gained nearly 1.6% this week, ahead of the US session, while the Swiss franc gained 1.3%. Gold is edging higher today, for the fourth consecutive session, and 2.4% for the week to reach levels not seen in two months.

South Korean equities fell 1.7% today to bring the loss for the week to 3.2%.   Tokyo markets were closed today for a public holiday, and the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan fell 1.5% and 2.4% for the week.   MSCI emerging market equity index also lost 2.4% this week to snap a four-week advance.

The Korean won eased less than 0.2% today, which brought the weekly loss to 1.6%.  It eclipsed the Philippine peso as the weakest in Asia but a couple of hundredths of a percent.  After the yen, the Chinese yuan was the strongest in the region, gaining almost 1%.

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