FTSE Makes Gains as North Korean Tensions Ease


Stocks rose broadly and haven assets retreated, a reversal from last week when major USA stock indexes, the dollar and Treasury yields fell as investors anxious about worst-case scenarios from summer storms and threats from North Korea.

While devastating, Irma didn't reach the feared Category 5 storm that some had expected and looks to have spared Miami, helping the dollar push off its lowest level in more than two years.

The U.S. and its allies had been bracing for another long-range missile launch to mark for the 69th anniversary of North Korea's founding on Saturday.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average.DJI was up 172.84 points, or 0.79 percent, at 21,970.63 and the S&P 500.SPX was up 17.64 points, or 0.72 percent, at 2,479.07. That relieved investors, especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, whose devastation is estimated to dent third-quarter economic growth. There was also relief among investors that a national holiday passed in North Korea without that country escalating tensions with the U.S.

The Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 63.32 points, or 1 percent, at 6,423.51.

Shares of Travelers Cos., Progressive and American International Group rose 2.6%, 1.3% and 1.2% in the pre-market, respectively. The yen's weakness against the greenback may lend some support to Japanese equities at the start of Monday trading.

The risk on sentiment will likely see the Euro remain on the back foot through the remainder of the day, which could see the Euro give up $1.20 levels early in the session, with the only consideration for the day being any possible friction between the North Korean's and the U.S, though a war of words is more palatable than actual missile or nuclear tests, as far as the markets are concerned.

On Monday, the dollar moved higher on easing concerns that Hurricane Irma weakened to a tropical storm and North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test over the weekend as expected.

European equities then took the baton, with both Frankfurt and Paris posting gains of more than 1.0 percent. HCI Group jumped $5.18, or 16.8 percent, to $35.95 while Heritage Insurance gained $1.95, or 20.8 percent, to $11.32. The contract skidded $1.61, or 3.3 percent, to settle at $47.48 a barrel on Friday.

London share prices are set to open higher on Monday, after North Korea celebrated its Foundation Day over the weekend relatively peacefully and as markets assess the fallout from Hurricane Irma. Microsoft added 63 cents to $74.61 and Mastercard rose $2.73, or 2 percent, to $139.95.

The single currency dropped 0.41 percent to $1.1984, pulling back from the 2-1/2-year high of $1.2108 hit on Friday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 19 cents to $47.67 a barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell 22 cents to $53.56 a barrel in London.

The technology sector.SPLRCT jumped 1.46 percent.