Asian shares fell today as North Korea pulled out of talks with US, insisting that they would not go ahead with a Libya style de-nuclearization. Pyongyang has called off talks with Seoul, and the threat of backing out looms over the planned Kim Jong Un – Trump meeting. Cues from the Wall Street were also negative, as increasing interest rates threatened to put a damper on global demand.
The Japanese market is declining – following negative cues from the Wall Street. Investors also digested data that showed the Japanese economy contracted in the first quarter, snapping a string of eight straight quarters of expansion. Despite negative cues and geopolitical tension, the ASX is rising, supported by miners and energy stocks, whose forte has been held firm – given a rise in oil prices and stable commodity prices.
The rise in yields hurt U.S. share markets on concerns it would undercut stock valuations. The strong U.S. data underpinned the dollar in currency markets. High-yielding Asian currencies were particularly vulnerable to higher U.S. yields, which could prompt investors to shift funds out of emerging markets.
The yen largely shrugged off data that showed Japan’s economy shrank by 0.6 percent on an annualized basis in the January-March quarter, a sharper contraction than the median estimate of 0.2 percent.
Crude oil prices remained near recent highs amid concerns U.S. sanctions on Iran may restrict crude exports from a major producer. In commodities markets, gold slightly rebounded after hitting a 4 1/2-month low the previous day on a strong dollar.
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