S&P futures are slightly lower (ES -0.1%) as traders paid little attention to the latest missile test by North Korea on Friday, with shares and other risk assets barely moving, gold lower and focus rapidly returning to when and where interest rates will go up. Most global market are mostly unfazed, and the Korean Kospi actually closed up 0.4%, by the latest geopolitical escalation after a North Korean ballistic missile flew far enough to put the U. S. territory of Guam in range. European stocks edged fractionally lower while Asian shares advanced.
As reported on Thursday evening, the main overnight event was North Kore’s launch of a missile which passed through Japan’s airspace and over Hokkaido, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. This initially prompted Japan to issue an emergency warning for its residents to seek shelter, while there were also reports that South Korea conducted its own missile firing test as a show of readiness. US military stated North Korean missile did not pose a threat to Guam and that the launch was an intermediate range ballistic missile. South Korean President Moon said will not sit idle on North Korea provocation and that South Korea has power to pulverize should
North Korea provoke. On Friday morning, Russia also denounced the ‘provocative’ N. Korea missile test, according to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, North Korea stated that it will take stronger actions for its self-defence if the US continues to walk on current course.
Still, markets are showing clear signs of habituation to missile launches and other provocative actions from North Korea, which has fired more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device. Global equities climbed to a record high this week as earnings and confidence in economic growth overshadowed tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The MSCI All Country World Index is poised for its third week of gains in four. Meanwhile, recent economic data has been supporting of bullish positions, with yesterday’s CPI prints suggesting inflation may again be on the rebound. While China data this week softened, the signals from DM financial markets remain optimistic. As such, investors will look to U. S. retail numbers today for more clues about the policy path.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.