Yen ticks up, won dips as North Korea test adds to global woes

TOKYO: The yen rose and South Korea’s won slipped Wednesday as North Korea’s claim that it conducted a successful hydrogen bomb test.

Pyongyang said it carried out a nuclear test — it’s fourth – after seismologists detected a 5.1 magnitude tremor next to its main atomic test site

North Korea’s move could push the yen higher as nervous investors look for safety, said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, adding “It’s mainly a problem for (market) sentiment.”

However, Yoshinori Shigemi, a global market strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo, said traders were concerned about “more serious issues” such as China’s slowing economic growth and fresh tensions in the Middle East.

The dollar slipped to 118.44 yen, its lowest level since October, on initial reports of the quake but later regained some ground to sit at 118.64 yen shortly after North Korea confirmed its test. It is still well down from 119.06 yen Tuesday in New York. Traders tend to buy the yen as a safe investment in times of turmoil or uncertainty. The won was trading around 1,195.45 against the dollar, its weakest level in about three months

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