Asian markets drop amid tensions on Korean peninsula

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


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

26 Apr US close: Markets fall as investors react to Trump tax plan

US stocks were down on Wednesday as investors digested the details of President Donald Trump’s tax reform.

26 Apr Le Pen's long odds attract new punters to French political betting

Gamblers have been piling in to bet on far-right candidate Marine Le Pen wrestling a surprise win over centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron next month, according to bookmakers.

26 Apr Thursday preview: Dovish ECB expected, WPP could turn cautious

The European Central Bank is forecast to leave its main policies unchanged in its meets this week, following a March meeting when the market made a rather hawkish interpretation of the outcome.

26 Apr Commodities: Crude bounces off lows as EIA data shows fall in US inventories

Crude futures bounced off earlier lows on Wednesday afternoon as US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed a surprise fall in inventories last week.

26 Apr Twitter shares jump as traffic continues to accelerate in Q1

Twitter continued to be mired in red ink during the first quarter despite continued and accelerating growth of activity on its site, amid revenue headwinds.

26 Apr US open: Stocks little changed as investors eye Trump tax announcement

US stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited a speech on tax reform by President Donald Trump.

26 Apr Small cap news round-up

Glanbia is to sell a 60% stake in its Irish dairy business, to Glanbia Co-operative Society for €112m.

26 Apr FTSE 250 movers: Aggreko gains ahead of update, Tullow gushes lower

London's FTSE 250 index was up 0.5% to 19,670.48 in afternoon trade.

26 Apr WTI futures spike higher following DoE inventory data

US crude oil inventories fell sharply last week despite rising imports as product stockpiles continued to build.

26 Apr FTSE 100 movers: Standard Chartered rallies on results, GKN drops

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,287.12 in afternoon trade as investors digested comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who confirmed that Donald Trump plans to cut corporate tax to 15% from 35%.