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US, Asian Shares Dip After North Korean Missile Launch

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.21 percent, or 40.95 points, to 19,848.39 in early trade while the Topix was up 0.22 percent, or 3.52 points, at 1,635.65.

AFP

Updated:September 15, 2017, 9:48 AM IST
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US, Asian Shares Dip After North Korean Missile Launch
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Tokyo: Tokyo stocks were higher on Friday morning with investors keeping their cool despite North Korea's launching its second missile over Japan in less than a month.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.21 percent, or 40.95 points, to 19,848.39 in early trade while the Topix was up 0.22 percent, or 3.52 points, at 1,635.65.

Japan was jolted awake in the early hours by an alert saying North Korea had fired a missile over its northern island of Hokkaido.

The launch followed a similar missile launch in late August and a nuclear test earlier this month.

But the latest provocation by Pyongyang sparked no sell-offs in financial markets.

Market players "are getting used to the risks", said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities.

"The missile took a similar path to the previous one, which means the situation has not drastically changed," he told AFP.

"If it had fallen on Japanese territory, it would have been a totally different story."

The dollar plunged right after the news of the latest missile firing as the Japanese currency drew safe-haven buying.

But the dollar bounced back quickly on expectations for higher US interest rates.

"Solid US consumer inflation has fuelled expectations for another interest rate hike, supporting the dollar," Matsuno said.

A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters and often buoys the Tokyo markets.

The greenback was trading at 110.17 yen on Friday after tumbling to 109.56 yen briefly against 110.26 yen in New York on Thursday afternoon.
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