As Risk Appetite Declines, Safe Havens Soar

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Gold prices were trading near two-week peaks on Wednesday after the British Parliament voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. This was the second crushing defeat for May, who is supposed to lead her country towards Brexit by March 29. Later today, the British Parliament will vote on whether to support a no-deal Brexit. Another vote is set for Thursday to consider extending the Brexit deadline if today’s no-deal Brexit vote fails.

The continuing concern over the possibility for a ‘hard Brexit’ sent traders flocking towards safe-haven assets. Gold was trading up 0.48 percent as of 2:32 p.m. HK/SIN, to $1,304.30 per ounce, a slight decline from the $1,305.69 per ounce, a two-week high hit earlier in the session. According to analyst opinions published by Reuters, gold may test a resistance level at $1,307, and a breakout above that point could lead the precious metal to head higher to as much as $1,313 per ounce.

The safe-haven yen gained against the U.S. dollar, with the greenback easing 0.04 percent to trade at 111.30. The pound soared after the vote and was last trading up 0.14 percent to $1.3091.

Asian Stock Markets Retreat

Asian markets were broadly lower on Wednesday after an upbeat trading day on Tuesday, pressured by investor concerns about how the Brexit will play out. The Nikkei 225 was down 0.99 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.55 percent lower. China’s benchmark indexes took the brunt of the losses, with the Shenzhen Composite trading 2.03 percent lower and the Shanghai Composite falling 1.18 percent by the mid-afternoon. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.27 percent and Australia’s ASX 200 was down 0.22 percent.

Sara Patterson has a Master’s Degree in political science and enjoys analyzing both current events and the international markets to get a fuller perspective of the currency market. Before turning to financial writing, she taught English writing skills to high-school age students. Sara’s work has been published on various financial and Forex blogs.