Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks recovered intraday after North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile over Japan rattled global markets. The missile was the first Pyongyang has fired over Japan's main islands since 2009 and the latest in a string of direct provocations that have briefly weighed on financial markets in recent weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points, or 0.2%, to 21846 in recent trading, after falling 135 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 added less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%. The U.S. gold price traded slightly lower overnight after yesterday’s gains, pulling back 0.1% to close at 1,308.60 US$/oz.
Germany's DAX stock index took a bruising as European equities fell to more-than-six-month lows after North Korea's missile launch over Japan jangled investors nerves and the euro rose. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 1% to end at 368.42, its lowest close since mid-February, FactSet data showed. National indexes were sharply lower, with Germany's DAX 30 index down 1.5% to 11,945.88, as the export-heavy index was pressured by a stronger euro. France's CAC 40 index ended 0.9% lower at 5,031.92, after having fallen temporarily below 5,000 intraday. In London, the FTSE 100 gave up 0.9% at 7,337.43, after being closed Monday for a bank holiday. The selloff came after Pyongyang launched a missile early Tuesday local time that passed over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean. The first missile fired over the main part of Japan since 2009 prompted investors to seek relative safety in assets perceived as less risky.
Earlier selling in Asian stocks largely moderated by the afternoon following a morning move into haven assets as investor concern over North Korea's missile launch seemed to ebb. South Korea's Kospi recovered to trade down just 0.2% after earlier falling 1.6%. The Nikkei was down roughly 0.4% after earlier falling as much as 0.9%. Although some worry about a counter-response from North Korea, investors are also buoyed by possible U.S. intervention. Chinese shares were mixed, as investors took profit in financial stocks amid jitters from the missile launch. The Shanghai Composite Index closed slightly higher, rising 0.1% to 3365.63, while the Shenzhen Composite Index ended down 0.2% and the ChiNext Price Index lost 0.6%.
A number of Asian stock markets saw selling ease into the close. That included Australia, where the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7% to 5669 after earlier seeing declines of more than 1%. Energy stocks shed some of their early weakness while utilities remained firm. Still, the index fell for a third session in the wake of the latest missile launch by North Korea. Australia's major banks led the market lower while gold miners rose amid fresh 11-month highs for the metal. With the drop, the ASX 200 is up just 3.2 points for the year.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher overnight, gaining 1.8% to finish at $6,791/t. The other base metals all finished stronger. Nickel prices added 1.9% to $11,647/t, while Aluminium firmed 0.9% to close at $2,085/t. Lead prices were strongest overnight, rising 2.3% to $2,353/t, with Tin prices higher by 0.3% at $20,520/t. Zinc prices also gained ground, finishing up 1.6% at $3,103/t
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