Asian markets drop amid tensions on Korean peninsula

Alexander Bueso Sharecast | 14 Apr, 2017 18:29 | | |

coreanortecb

Asian markets retreated amid reports that a North Korean official had threatened to "go to War" if provoked by the US, which the day before had used its largest non-nuclear bomb ever against underground tunnels used by IS fighters in Afghanistan.

Also on Friday, China´s foreign minister, Wang Yi, called on all sides to avoid any type of provocation.

"We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage," Wang said, Reuters reported.

In response to a question, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said: "It's not hard to see that ever since the United States and Republic of Korea decided to deploy THAAD, the situation has not become harmonious but has become more tense."

Meanwhile, ahead of the 'Day of the Sun' celebrations set for the next day, North Korea's military threatened a "merciless response" to any provocation from the US, according to AFP.

However, Reuters also reported that China had cancelled regularly-scheduled flights to the North's capital, Pyongyang.

That came as South Korea's Foreign Ministry warned Pyongyang against any provocative acts of its own, such as a missile test, which some believe may be carried out against the backdrop of tomorrow's celebrations.

"There is certain to be powerful punitive measure that will be difficult for the North Korean regime to endure," the South's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

What stockmarkets were open in the region saw their main benchmarks drop in response to the heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea's Kospi lost 0.90% to 618.24, while the Nikkei-225 fell 0.49% to 18,335.63 and the Shanghai Stock Exchange's Composite Index dropped 0.91% to 3,246.07.

Dollar/yen was also on the backfoot, in typical 'risk-off' fashion, losing 0.44% to 108.61.

More news

14:49 FTSE 100 movers: Provident Financial recovers; United Utilities goes ex-div

London's FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,426.43 in afternoon trade.

14:47 Sector movers: Diageo weighs on Beverages after costly takeover of Casamigos

Pharma and Industrial engineering shares are at the top of the leaderboard amid supportive news-flow and broker commentary.

14:36 Malvern launches first digital learning tech product with Playware

Educational services provider Malvern International announced on Thursday that, following the strategic plan announced in November 2016 and as part of its collaboration with Playware Studios Singapore announced in January 2017, it was launching its first digital offering in the area of learning technology.

14:10 Directa Plus teams up with Italian uniform manufacturer Alfredo Grassi

Graphene-based product producer and supplier Directa Plus announced that it had entered into joint development agreement (JDA) with Alfredo Grassi, which it described as a manufacturer of customised protective clothing, workwear and uniforms for private and public organisations globally.

14:08 Trans-Siberian Gold inks second debt facility at reduced cost

Trans-Siberian Gold clinched a second debt facility at a reduced cost.

14:02 Milestone's Nexstar launches know-your-customer product

Digital media technology company Milestone Group announced that Black Cactus Holdings - its joint venture partner in its subsidiary Nexstar - had launched a ‘know your customer’ (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) platform.

13:52 Defenx enters into software distribution agreement with partner BV-Tech

Cyber-security software group Defenx announced on Thursday that, further to the software acquisition and investment by BV-Tech announced on 11 April, the company entered into a software distribution contract as part of its strategic partnership with BV-Tech.

13:43 US unemployment claims tick higher

US jobless claims edged slightly higher last week.

13:38 Electrical Geodesics board tells shareholders to approve £29m Philips merger

Neurodiagnostic medical technology company Electrical Geodesics (EGI) announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended acquisition under which Philips will acquire all of the outstanding shares of EGI for an aggregate consideration of £29m in cash, pursuant to the terms of an agreement and plan of merger entered into on 21 June between EGI, Philips, Merger Sub and others.

13:33 LXB makes further letting progress at Rushden Lakes and Stafford Riverside

Jersey resident closed-ended real estate investment company LXB Retail Properties announced further progress on lettings at Rushden Lakes Phase 3 and at Stafford Riverside on Thursday.