Risk appetite props up dollar after worst week in two months

12 September, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Barbara Daniel
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Stocks in Canada's largest centre enjoyed gains, temporarily reversing a string of losses, on the weakening of Hurricane Irma overnight and North Korea refraining from a missile test to mark its 69th anniversary, with financial stocks and Tahoe Resources leading the rally.

Some analysts had expected North Korea to conduct a weapons test on Saturday, coinciding with the country's founding day, as it did a year ago to mark the celebration.

The news of the talks on Sunday helped offset the downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma.

On Friday, US markets ended mixed and fairly subdued, with the Dow Jones Industrials adding just 13 points at 21,797, while the broader S&P 500 index and tech-laden Nasdaq both ended modestly lower as investors waited to see what impact Hurricane Irma will have on Florida. But Pyongyang did not carry out another test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, as South Korea's government had warned it might do. The storm will move into Georgia and Alabama Monday night and into Tuesday.

STORMY WEATHER: Investors were waiting for damage assessments after Hurricane Irma battered Florida's coastline, knocking out power to millions and flooding the financial district in downtown Miami and toppling two construction cranes there. Petersburg area, though in a weakened state.

As the start of USA trading neared, Irma had weakened to a tropical storm and was expected to slow to a tropical depression by today.

MARKET INSIGHT: "This weekend was a case of the dog that didn't bark, or at least, not very loudly", said Rob Carnell, head of Asia research at ING. Traditional haven assets, such as gold and the Japanese yen pulled back on Monday, while equities saw marked gains, led by a 1.4% gain for the Nikkei 225 index. XL Group advanced $1.92, or 5 percent, to $40.53 and Travelers gained $3.25, or 2.7 percent, to $123.01. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,713.10.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened as the latest developments gave traders less reason to flee to the yen, traditionally considered a haven. The yen and the Swiss franc, which traditionally rise when markets are volatile, both fell against the US dollar. The euro slid to $1.1964 from $1.12028.

About 6 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, above the 5.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, slipped 5 cents to $53.73 a barrel in London.



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