U.S. stock indexes edge higher in midday trading; oil rises

NEW YORK, April 12 The dollar was little changed on Wednesday after falling to a almost five-month low against the Japanese yen as worries over geopolitical tensions checked investors' risk appetite.

Only the traditional safe-haven Japanese Yen was seen outperforming the UK currency as traders opted to take to the sidelines amidst increased tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The New Zealand dollar has fallen to a five-month low against the yen as North Korea stepped up its anti-US rhetoric and American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow for talks on the standoff over Syria.

Energy companies led US stock indexes to modest gains in early trading Monday as the price of crude oil headed higher.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London's FTSE-100 lost 0.5 percent to 7,313.87 and France's CAC-40 shed 0.5 percent to 5,075.49.

This was brought about by the U.S. military redirecting a naval strike group to North Korean waters raising fears of a military strike against the country following U.S. President Donald Trump's launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in reaction to a chemical attack supposedly ordered by the Syrian government.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.36 yen from 110.55 yen late Friday in Asia.

Korean official blames Trump for region's 'vicious cycle'
Any US strike on North Korea could prompt retaliation against allies or US forces in South Korea or Japan. The Saturday anniversary may provide the world with a look at some of that arsenal.

Japan's navy also plans joint drills with the USA force, sources told Reuters. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow with the aim of persuading Russian Federation to ditch its ally Syria following last week's chemical attack.

The kiwi was little changed at US65.54 cents and the trade-weighted index slipped to 75.85 from 75.94. Rig operator Transocean rose 36 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $12.79.

Energy stocks led the gainers as the price of crude oil rose for the fifth day in a row.

"The yen's gains against the euro also bears watching, with uncertainty towards the French presidential elections clearly the driving factor".

In the oil space, Inpex is down more than 2 percent and JXTG Holdings is lower by nearly 3 percent despite higher crude oil prices overnight. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.36 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday.

Goldman remains cautions. While a further unwinding of Trump-related equity trades and geopolitical risks may push prices higher in the next few weeks, the metal will retreat to $1,200 in three and six months, it said in a report dated Wednesday. Yields were last at 2.284 percent and testing a hugely important barrier on the charts. Australia's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,938.70. Oil rose 31 cents to $53.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Smaller carmaker Subaru sank 47 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 3,877 yen while Sony dropped 36 yen, or 1.0 percent, to 3,422 yen. Brent crude, the standard for worldwide oil prices, was up 52 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $55.76 a barrel in London.

The euro fared better against the broadly weaker dollar and managed to hold onto gains made yesterday and remained above the key $1.0600 level in Asian trading.

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