Stocks take note of North Korea crisis – or do they?
Over the week, the main global stock markets fell by between 2 and 3.5% and thereby finally appeared to acknowledge the heightened geopolitical risk levels emanating from the nuclear showdown of words between North Korea’s dynastic leader Kim Yung Un and US president Donald Trump. That at least is how the market media was very quick to conclude.
UK house price growth “grinds to a halt”
The latest residential market survey from The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors UK (RICS) reveals that, at a national level, property price growth has “ground to a halt”. This comes on the back of fallen transaction volumes, which in some parts of the country have now fallen back to levels last seen in 2011.
Trump’s Fire and Fury
In an off-the-cuff statement, Donald Trump promised to bring “fire and fury like the world has never seen” down upon North Korea this week, if the government in Pyongyang doesn’t let up in its 7 provocation. The President’s comments came after a report this week from the Washington Post that said North Korea had developed a nuclear warhead capable of fitting inside one its missiles that could reach US territory, according to US intelligence officials.
A fistful of Dollars
Few things affect currency markets and financial markets generally, quite as much as geo-political events (and tensions). Yes, intervention by central banks on interest rates and other economic fundamentals will all influence the course of a currency over the medium to longer term. But over the short term and along with so-called safe-haven assets, currencies like the Swiss franc (SFr), the Japanese Yen (¥) and even the $-Dollar tend to fluctuate significantly during periods of political instability and uncertainty.
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