- REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Investors are pulling into safe-haven assets after North Korea’s latest missile launch.
Gold climbed to its highest level this year earlier Tuesday, touching $1,326.08 an ounce.
The Japanese yen, the Swiss franc, and US Treasurys were rallying Tuesday morning as well.
Here’s the scoreboard as of 8:08 a.m. ET (the yen and the Swiss franc are both against the US dollar):
- Gold: $1,326.00, +10.66, +0.81% Japanese yen: 108.56, -0.69, -0.63% Swiss franc: 0.9449, -0.0104, -1.1% US 10-year yield: 2.107, -0.052
“North Korea is back on the radar, and the spike in geopolitical tensions have supported demand for safe havens like CHF and JPY,” Mark McCormick, the North American head of FX strategy at TD Securities, said in emailed comments. “USD is underperforming on the risk off move, which is likely a function of the negative Washington risk premium that continues to grip the dollar.”
Gold, Treasurys, the yen, and the Swiss franc are generally considered to be “risk-off trades.”
Betting on yen and Swiss franc appreciation is popular during periods of heightened uncertainty. Treasurys, considered the safest place investors can park their money, and gold, the so-called end-of-the-world trade, are also bought aggressively in times of stress.
North Korea launched a missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido at 5:58 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to Japanese government officials. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch “an unprecedented, grave, and serious threat” that damaged the security of the region.
- Markets Insider
The US dollar continues to tumble, extending the sell-off that began last week. The index was down by 0.5% at 91.77 at 8:09 a.m. ET.
“North Korea’s provocations have added to fuel to the fire that was already burning,” Marc Chandler, the global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said of the dollar.
“Coming out of Jackson Hole, the consensus scenario of ECB tapering and Fed allowing its balance sheet to begin shrinking, and fading prospects of tax reform and an infrastructure initiative in the US, the greenback was vulnerable,” he continued. “In our assessment both fundamental and technical conditions had aligned that warned that the dollar’s recent consolidation was over and a new leg lower had begun.”