10Y bitcoin BoE dollar FX kim jong-un nikkei north korea pound S&P 500 yen

Them’s Fightin’ Words.

There's tension in the air.

Thursday started off with a bang, as Kim decided it was time to bless the world with some of the most bombastic rhetoric KCNA has managed to cook up to date. Here’s the bullet point summary of what hit on Thursday morning in Asia:

  • “The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us”
  • “A telling blow should be dealt to them who have not yet come to senses after the launch of our ICBM over the Japanese archipelago”
  • The “wicked” Japanese “should not be pardoned as they have not yet made a sincere apology for the never-to-be-condoned crimes against our people but acted disgustingly, dancing to the tune of the U.S. sanctions”

There you go. Any questions? Them’s fightin’ words and you’ve gotta know the generals were lovin’ it…


That seemed to weigh on Japanese shares which fell for the first time in four sessions, and moved notably lower just as those hilarious quotes hit the wires.

About 10 hours later, Japanese media reported that the North has apparently gassed up an ICBM with a launch expected at any time. That weighed on S&P and Nasdaq futs ahead of the cash open and just as CPI was hitting:


US stocks have managed to cling to most of their gains from earlier this week, but the euphoria has faded over the past two sessions, with the exception of the Dow which was propped up by Boeing:


USDJPY was all kinds of fun, falling on the North Korea headlines overnight and then trying to rally on the CPI beat only to be overshadowed by still more news about Kim and his missiles:


It was the same story with Treasurys as yields rose on the CPI beat and quickly reversed in an apparent safe haven bid:


The pound surged as markets looked through the 7-2 BoE vote to focus instead on this bit:

…the majority of Bank of England policy makers judge that if economy develops as predicted, some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months.

Then, the currency got a little extra boost from Carney:

Here’s the day chart:


That’s the highest since September of last year:


The options market is the most bullish in more than three years:


And here’s Katie with the illustrated version (we assume she dropped the mic and walked off stage after posting this):

All of that of course weighed on the FTSE, and you can see equities’ immediate reaction to the pound’s two notable legs higher in the chart below:


WTI managed to climb back above $50 briefly and rose above its 200-day moving average for the first time since early August as the market continues to key on the demand outlook (as discussed here on Tuesday and Wednesday, both OPEC and the IEA delivered upbeat assessments in that regard this week):


Bitcoin is a disaster all of the sudden as the China crackdown continues apace and speculators investors ponder whether Jamie Dimon and Marko Kolanovic are correct to suggest that more governments will follow Beijing’s lead:


That’s five down days in row. Speaking of fightin’ words, even hinting that Bitcoin doesn’t have a date with a John McAfee-ish $500,000 is enough to send the crypto crazies into a veritable frenzy.

Jamie just wants to know one thing:


And Sarah wants to know who said something about the hamburgers being ready:


Oh, and in the final example of fightin’ words, Goldman was out on Wednesday evening reminding you that a bear market is “just a matter of when”. Their bear market risk indicator is now flashing yellow…



3 comments on “Them’s Fightin’ Words.

  1. >dancing to the tune of the U.S. sanctions

    New DPRK TV show?

  2. Jamal James

    NHK is reporting a missle was just launched over northern Japan. Urging citizens to find safe place.

  3. frank petrou

    DUCK AND COVER: South park “Volcano” episode could be of help during this North Korea tension period

Speak On It

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar