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Asia in the Red on North Korea Turmoil

06 September 2017

225 fell 0.17%, while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.35%.

The dollar slipped against the yen on Wednesday, pushing back towards last week's 4-1/2-month low on worries over North Korea's nuclear ambitions and on comments from a Federal Reserve official about subdued US inflation. That brought it back close to its August 29 nadir of 108.265 yen, its weakest since mid-April.

The greenback was flat against a basket of other major currencies.DXY, pressured on Tuesday by Fed policymaker Lael Brainard saying inflation was "well short" of target and that the Fed should be cautious about raising US interest rates.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury slipped 1 basis point to 2.14 percent, the super-long 30-year bond yields flat at 2.77 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year note traded 2 basis points lower at 1.32 percent by 10:40GMT.

Concerns about North Korea, which held its biggest-ever nuclear test last Sunday (03/09), remains the main focus of investors.

The yen nearly always gains when investors try to reduce exposure to risk because the currency is often used as a funding source to buy riskier, higher-yielding assets.

The dollar fell as much as 1 percent against the safe-haven Japanese yen and was on track for its biggest decline in eight days against a basket of currencies.

"Maybe our rate hikes are actually doing real harm to the economy", said Kashkari, who has dissented against the Fed's rate hikes this year. "She didn't mince her words", said Stephen Innes, head of trading in Asia-Pacific for Oanda in Singapore, referring to Brainard's remarks. The closed 0.75% lower while the closed at 6375.57, down 0.93%.

The Canadian dollar last traded at C$1.2395 per US dollar, having set a two-year high of C$1.2336 on Tuesday ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision on Wednesday.

The central bank has raised rates four times since December 2015 and has indicated it expects to hike again before the end of the year.

In Australia, GDP for the second quarter came in at a rise of 0.8%, just below the 0.9% gain seen and a 1.8% rise at an, just below the 1.9% increase expected.

Asia in the Red on North Korea Turmoil