ASIA MARKETS: Asian Stocks Bounce Back As North Korean Threat Recedes

By Ese Erheriene Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nikkei rises more than 1%, New Zealand at record

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Most Asian stock markets ended higher Tuesday, getting a fresh lift as North Korea pulled back its threat to attack Guam.

After days of heated rhetoric between North Korea and President Donald Trump, Pyongyang dialed back the political tensions Tuesday with North Korean state media saying Kim Jong Un had decided not to fire missiles (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-korea-steps-back-from-plan-to-launch-missiles-at-guam-2017-08-14) at the U.S. territory.

South Korean markets were closed for Independence Day and Japan's Nikkei led gains in Asia, with a 1.1% rise following a 1% drop on Monday. Tokyo stocks were also boosted by a pullback in the yen as the dollar moved back above the psychologically-important Yen110 level.

Still, worries over North Korea capped the yen's strength.

"They are thinking twice because risk-off means buying yen, but Japan is too close from a geopolitical perspective," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global markets for BNP Paribas in Japan. As such, short-yen positioning could be capping the currency Tuesday, he added.

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In Taiwan, the headline Taiex index was up 1%, after having lost as much Monday, lifted by major tech companies which were seeing gains in excess of 1%.

Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.8% with strength in the country's big banks, which have a heavy weighting in the index, following more upbeat earnings news. New Zealand's NZX-50 gained 0.7% and marked a record high of 7,813.74.

Asia's stock gains Tuesday were followed by strong rebounds in Europe and the U.S. on Monday, with the S&P 500 rising 1%, its biggest one-day gain since April.

Improved risk appetite put downward pressure on gold. The metal, which is considered a haven in times of uncertainty, ended a three-session streak of gains on Monday and London spot prices were down 0.5%. Bond yields were also slightly higher as investors moved into riskier assets.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 06:02 ET (10:02 GMT)