Global Market Report - September 8 2017

Investors are braced for more volatility caused by Hurricane Irma and rumours of another North Korean missile launch

James Gard 8 September, 2017 | 10:56AM


Japanese investors were in sombre mood on Friday morning as the country braces for another possible missile launch by North Korea over the weekend, which sees the anniversary of the communist country’s founding.

The Nikkei index fell to levels last seen in April, closing at 19,275. The Japanese economy grew 2.5% in the April-to-June period from the same period last year, below forecasts. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed up on the day but is still lower than at the start of September.


Currency markets reacted strongly to Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, where it suggested that it could begin to withdraw its stimulus as soon as October. The euro hit a two-year high against the dollar, but Europe’s main indices were little changed on Friday morning. European banking shares were a touch higher in morning trading but are still below levels at the start of the week.

A profit warning from paints maker AkzoNobel (AKZO), which is listed in Amsterdam, saw its shares fall over 7% to €72 on Friday as the company warned of higher costs.

Also today, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research releases its forecast for UK economic growth for August. The FTSE 100 was marginally lower on Friday morning, off over 20 points at 7374 amid mixed trade, construction and manufacturing figures.

Around 10am London time, fashion retailer Burberry (BRBY) was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 as brokers lifted their recommendation and price target for the luxury brand. Morningstar equity analysts rate Burberry as a three-star stock, with a fair value of £16.40, against a current price of nearly £18 a share.

North America

The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma had a bigger impact on currency markets overnight than stocks, with the dollar declining in favour of the yen and the euro. Gold also made further gains. Ahead of the weekend, US investors will have to weigh up the effects of Hurricane Irma, an earthquake in Mexico, and the expectation of another missile launch by North Korea over the weekend. Nevertheless, the movement on the main US indices were modestly lower on Thursday, as was Canada’s TSX index.

The earnings calendar is typically light for a Friday, but grocery store operator Kroger (KR), which is under threat from Amazon’s Whole Foods, reports earnings. Looking ahead, Canada’s employment data are out for August, while the US sees weekly rig count numbers and consumer credit figures for July.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Akzo Nobel NV74.52 EUR-0.27-
Burberry Group PLC2,108.30 GBX-0.41
The Kroger Co28.18 USD7.64-
About Author

James Gard  is subeditor for