Friday, September 15, 2017

21st Century Headlines: "North Korea missile launch failed to have much impact in the capital markets."

That's from Marc to Market whose gif from Thursday might also be apropos:

And his commentary for today:

Short Note Ahead of the Weekend
(Sporadic updates continue as the first of two-week business trip winds down)
North Korea missile launch failed to have much impact in the capital markets. The missile apparently flew the furthest yet, demonstrating its ability to hit Guam. However, there was not an immediate response from the US. South Korea said it had simultaneously conducted its own drill which included firing a missile into the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

The yen initially popped higher. The greenback fell to around JPY109.55 after briefly pushing through JPY111.00 in North America yesterday. The dollar quickly bounced off the 20-day moving average, which also coincided with a 38.2% retracement of this week's dollar gains (~JPY109.60). Good buying was seen and the dollar returned to the JPY110.80 by late in the Asia session.

Korea shares rose 0.35%, its fourth advance in the past five sessions, to bring the weekly gain to 1.8%. The rise came despite continued foreign liquidation. Foreign investors sold $305 mln worth of Korean shares ahead of the weekend, which was nearly half of the week's sales. The Kospi closed near its best levels in a month. The won, on the other hand, slipped around 0.4% over the past week. More broadly, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose about 0.6% on the week, its fifth weekly increase. This regional benchmark has had one losing week since early July.

While media trumpets that the Chinese yuan had its biggest weekly fall of the year, it needs to be put in context. The yuan's decline was about 0.7%. Remember under the old Bretton Woods system, one percent movement was consistent with a pegged regime. Moreover, the yuan had risen about 2.6% in the previous three weeks. It was not simply a case of a soft yuan, though the PBOC consistently set the fixing rate lower and removed some disincentives to short the yuan, but the dollar was also generally well bid. The Dollar Index, for example, rose as much as the yuan fell. Chinese data disappointed and the Chinese shares traded heavily after the data, giving back the gains scored earlier in the week.

Sterling is the big winner of the week....