North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for the first round of talks on Friday, in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, for the two Koreas first summit in over a decade. Kim became the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War rendering this visit an historic one.
The two leaders discussed denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean peninsula during their morning session and are expected to sign a joint declaration after they reconvene Friday afternoon. A joint statement was released declaring there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula.
“The two leaders solemnly declare … that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new era of peace has begun”
Just days before the summit, Kim said North Korea would suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and dismantle its only known nuclear test site. The meeting precedes Kim’s meeting with the U.S. President Trump to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
SNB Chairman Speaks: Jordan commenting on monetary policy and banking regulation underlined that Swiss franc is still highly valued. As Chairman of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank since 2012, Thomas J. Jordan remarks can lead to significantly alter the value of the nation’s currency. The market is always on the lookout for details on the next set of tools the central bank may deploy. This speech is often used by traders attempting to decipher any changes in interest rates from the clues provided.
Yesterday, SNB reported a loss of CHF 6.8 billion for the first quarter of 2018. The loss on foreign currency positions amounted to CHF 7.0 billion. The SNB’s financial result depends largely on developments in the gold, foreign exchange and capital markets.
The U.K. economy registered its worst performance since the end of 2012 in the first quarter, as snow hit retail sales and disrupted building work. The Office for National Statistics said growth slowed to 0.1 percent from 0.4 percent in the final three months of 2017, worse than the 0.3 percent economists. GDP grew 1.2 percent from a year earlier, also the least since 2012.
Oil prices edged lower on Friday amid concerns that Trump will reimpose sanctions against Tehran.
Gold prices remain steady as traders are looking forward to the US Data on first quarter economic growth, although the precious metal is on track for weekly losses of around 1.5%.
US Dollar remained near a 3-1/2-month peak against six major currencies on Friday, edging higher and being on track to post its best weekly performance in more than 1-1/2 years. The dollar’s index against major currencies on Thursday hit a high of 91.639, its strongest level since mid-January, continuing its rally.
Euro dips after ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged evidence of a “pull-back” from exceptional growth readings seen around the turn of the year and kept rates unchanged. The common currency fell to its lowest since mid-January, while it has been weakening all week.
The yen was little changed after the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy settings unchanged as widely expected.
Sterling fell to a six-week low ahead of GDP data that may determine whether the Bank of England raises interest rates in May.
Sources: Reuters, Swiss National Bank, Bloomberg
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