Yen and dollar rise as investors seek safety

14 Août, 2019, 05:39 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A man looks at an electronic board showing currency exchange rates in Buenos Aires’ financial district Argentina on Aug. 12 2019. REUTERS

The nagging worries about an extended US-China trade conflict - in addition to a no-deal Brexit issue - has kept Japanese currency bulls charging early Monday, while Argentina's economy was set to collapse after voters handed its leader an election beating.

Liu spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday evening, a ministry statement said.

"The market is starting to price in default", said Edwin Gutierrez, the London-based head of emerging-market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Asset Management.

"Fitch kept Italy's rating unchanged and some market participants may be betting that a snap election could be delayed", said DZ Bank rates strategist Sebastian Fellechner, referring to the fall in yields.

"Bad news has a way of being magnified in this environment and contagion risk is therefore higher", said Ilya Gofshteyn, a strategist at Standard Chartered in NY.

"We can continue in the situation we've been in for months which is one step forward, further into the trade war abyss, followed by one step or a half step backwards", Hooper said.

Wall Street futures were down 0.5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 372.54 points, or 1.44%, to 26,279.91. The S&P 500 lost 35.96 points, or 1.23%, to 2,882.69 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 95.73 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 7,863.41. Spot gold gained 0.7% to $1,505.85 per ounce.

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Major equity indices had tumbled roughly 5% since late July on growing concerns that the ongoing U.S. Otherwise, a presidential runoff will be introduced on November 24.

As this happened, investors ran for gold, and the safe-haven yen in the midst of global economic doubt while Argentina's currency dropped 23% following the shock poll results. The yen is a safe-haven asset which benefits in moments of geopolitical uncertainty and during economic downturns. The U.S. dollar rose 1.27% to 106.63 yen per dollar. The spread between 2- and 10-year Treasury yields, the best-known measure of the yield curve, fell as low as 0.6 basis point, its flattest in more than 12 years.

Even Argentina's 100 year bonds sank to a new low.

"The longer the trade war drags on, the more likely it would weigh (on) the global outlook and crimp the world economy, a negative for market morale", said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures rose 4 cents to settle at US$58.57 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gained 43 cents to settle at US$54.93 a barrel.

Prior to Tuesday's gains, Brent had traded down more than 20% since hitting a year high in April.

At present, the export tax formula for corn and wheat is calculated as 4 pesos for every U.S. dollar that is exported, while for soybeans, the current tax is at a fixed 18% with an additional 4 pesos for every United States dollar over that threshold. The yellow metal edged up, retaining above the psychological region of $1,500.

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