B1 Intermediate UK 127 Folder Collection
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Muted market reactions to big events means one of two things: investors have concluded, it does not matter, or they are unsure how to quantify it.
In the case of North Korea's nuclear test on Sunday, it's the latter.
On Monday, havens including gold and the Yen rose while Japanese and Korean stocks fell, but all of the moves were relatively restrained.
Japan, South Korea, and China, between them represent the second and third largest stock markets, and the two biggest countries in the emerging market universe.
Japan and China are also both key players in global debt markets and the Yen is the third most-traded currency in the world.
The stakes for global investors are indeed high.
Although foreigners' limited interest in China's onshore markets reduces their significance in portfolios.
They often say on the country's signals, too.
On Monday, Shanghai and Shenzhen closed 0.4 and 0.6 per cent higher, even as Tokyo fell 1 per cent, and Seoul dropped 1.2.
Assessing the market's risk posed by North Korea involves a situation that is at once familiar yet terrifyingly complex.
Investors have spent decades factoring in the effects of hostilities between the rogue state and the outside world.
A recent report by Nomura, which puts tensions at their highest since 1994, identifies 10 outcomes under four scenarios.
They span negotiations, to US intervention, or even a military coup.
Few, if any, analysts believe that outright war is the most likely outcome.
Even those factoring in the potential for actual conflict struggle to measure it.
In spite of their analysis, Nomura's team concluded the effect on Korean stocks from a war would likely be too catastrophic to deal in any specifics.
The scale of Monday's moves in the Yen, Tokyo stocks, gold, and the Korean Won would not rank as a top 10 event for any of them for 2017.
Monday's US bank holiday would have played a part, too, in dampening the reception with only limited trading of treasuries, and no Wall Street action to look to.
The only market with an outsized reaction on Monday was the Korean stock market, as 1.2 per cent fall, ranks as its fourth worst day this year.
The other ones, the worst ones, came in July and August.
Now, this suggests that even as more global assets are holding their nerve, Korean investors are starting to price in some scarier outcomes
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Markets uncertain over N Korea test

127 Folder Collection
Samuel published on September 8, 2017
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