Escalating Geopolitical Tensions Roil Markets, Yen Jumps to 4-month Highs Versus Dollar

Japan’s currency gained versus all major developed peers on Tuesday, especially surging to a four-month high against the U.S. dollar after North Korea fired a missile over Japan. The act reignited tensions after a war of words between Pyongyang and Washington earlier this month.

The Yen had jumped to as high as 108.326 yen per dollar in early trade- the highest level since April 18th – before retreating to 108.780 at the end of Asian morning trading session. North Korea was reported to fire an unidentified ballistic missile passing over northern Japan.

Earlier this month, Pyongyang had threatened to fire a missile over Japan toward the U.S. territory of Guam in a respond to U.S. President Donald Trump’s warnings that any threat North Korea presented to the United States would be met with “fire and fury.

In a speech following the missile’s launch, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed that it “is an unprecedented, grave and serious threat” and that he agreed with Trump to increase pressure on North Korea. Japan did not only ask the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting but also urged China and Russia to join in taking action against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Escalating geopolitical tensions sapped investors’ appetite for risky investments. Asian shares and U.S. stock futures tumbled on Tuesday, causing investors to pile into safe-havens assets such as the Japanese Yen as Japan is the world’s biggest creditor nation and it has big current account surpluses.

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1 Comment

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Love Whitcomb

August 29, 2017  /  Reply

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