Geopolitical concerns over North Koreas nuclear weapons program has sent some investors rushing to haven assets such as the yen and gold. Stocks in Japan and Australia fell although the stock market elsewhere in Asia staged a turnaround and shot up. Japanese stocks were weighed down by the strengthening yen. The yen climbed alongside gold for a second day after North Korea’s missile launch fanned concern the country is closer to building an arsenal capable of hitting the U.S. In the past, markets have proved to quickly move beyond periods of tension on the Korean peninsula following short bouts of risk aversion. Political turmoil on the peninsula comes ahead of the G-20 summit in Hamburg this week as the UN security council prepares to host an emergency meeting on Wednesday.
In the currencies markets, the yen was up 0.3 percent to 112.96 per dollar in the early trading session after another surge during yesterday’s session by as much as 0.6 percent. The Australian dollar went up by 0.2 percent after tumbling 0.7 percent in Tuesdays session after the central bank’s decision to maintain a neutral policy. The Canadian dollar held firm, trading at $1.2935CAD per dollar after having hit a 10-month high of C$1.2911 to the dollar on Tuesday. The euro may struggle to regain footing if upcoming U.S. data support the case for the Federal Reserve to keep winding back its stimulus.
In store for the commodities market is the looming showdown between Qatar and other gulf states, that has seen Qatar mounted what appears a show of strength, after state owned Qatar petroleum announced plans to raise liquefied natural gas capacity by 30%. Immediate ramifications to this plan if activated will be to worsen a glut on the LNG market where the United States, Australia and Russia vie. Gold advanced today by 0.4percent following its climb in yesterday session to 1227.78 in the early trading and WTI crude slipped to $46.98 per barrel, a 0.2percent fall from Tuesday session.
Today we have in the dock the Federal Reserve June policy meeting minutes to be released at 18:00GMT, which will shed some light for investors on the path for U.S. interest rates ahead of Friday’s key jobs report. Also today, earlier than the FOMC meeting minutes, there will be a release of services PMI in the UK which measures the level of a diffusion index based on surveyed purchasing managers in the services industry.