Asian stocks proved resilient once again and edged up to touch a two year high despite the many uncertainties prevailing in the market. A major setback to the markets has been the global ransomware attack that has left about 200,000 affected across the world. Weak data from the U.S. has not given the markets any news for celebration either, yet Asian stocks have managed to keep up. Certainly a heartening piece of news in an otherwise lukewarm week.
North Korea missile test adds to woes
Adding to the woes created by the ransomware attack is news that North Korea appears keen on keeping the pressure on the U.S. The country's leader reiterated the government's clear intent to attack the U.S. if any moves were made that may viewed as military escalation. The premier went on to warn that the U.S. should not rest easy under the impression that North Korea does not yet possess missiles capable of reaching American land based on missile tests that have been carried out in the past. He went on to say that these missiles were deliberately positioned at higher altitudes to avoid destroying land but that they are in fact capable of reaching American’s mainland. The tensions between North Korea and South Korea have embroiled the United States as well. In addition, threats by North Korea have only become more focused and frequent in recent weeks, leading to much uncertainty in the global political scenario. This in turn has played its part in keeping global markets subdued.
Overall market performance
Asian stocks are not the only market category to emerge victorious against all odds. Oil has turned out be another unexpected winner. Oil prices surged following an announcement by the Russian oil minister and Saudi Arabian energy minister announcing a decision to extend output cuts. U.S. crude oil moved up by more than 1.5 percent following the announcement.
Meanwhile, European stocks appear to be on a winning streak as well with an extension of Friday's gains. Both the French CAC and the British FTSE are expected to open higher by some 0.1% while Germany's DAC is expected to do even better with a 0.2% higher opening. While the demand for safe haven investments have grown thanks to the North Korean question remaining unresolved, there does not seem to be any indication of panic in the markets.