European stocks are likely to open higher on Wednesday as tensions around North Korea ebbed somewhat and the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years finally began to move away from Houston.
Gold prices fell from a more than nine-month high and the dollar pulled away from its 4-1/2 month lows against the yen after North Korea said the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan was to counter U.S. and South Korean military drills.
U.S. President Donald Trump also offered a surprisingly subdued response to North Korea’s missile launch, saying that “all options are on the table” for dealing with the crisis.
Separately, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed U.S. support for its allies and said the U.S. will explore every diplomatic and economic option first to increase pressure on North Korea.
The U.N. Security Council, in an emergency meeting, has condemned the latest missile provocation, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions or other specific measures to rein in Pyongyang.
Asian stocks are broadly higher as investors sought bargains. U.S. gasoline futures jumped while oil prices eased as refinery shutdowns in the wake of Hurricane Harvey reduced demand for American crude.
In economic releases, U.K. shop prices fell an annual 0.3 percent in August, after a 0.4 percent contraction in July, the British Retail Consortium said.
Non-food prices tumbled 1.3 percent from the previous month to hit a four-year low – while food prices climbed 1.3 percent.
Investors await inflation data from the euro zone as well as U.S. reports on second-quarter GDP and jobs this week for further direction.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher despite North Korea’s latest missile launch and concerns about tropical storm Harvey’s impact on various industries.
The S&P 500 edged up 0.1 percent and the Dow as well as Nasdaq Composite rose around 0.3 percent each as a weaker dollar boosted demand for industrial and technology stocks.
European markets hit six-month lows on Tuesday as the euro continued to strengthen and investors fretted over geopolitical risks from North Korea. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1 percent.
The German DAX fell as much as 1.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped by 0.9 percent each.
by RTT Staff Writer
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