Photographer:Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

Investors Worry More About Trump Than North Korea's Dictator Kim

U.S. President Donald Trump is a bigger concern to financial markets than North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un -- judging by traders’ reactions this year.

South Korea’s Kospi stock index was down 0.8 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday, hours after Trump told reporters that North Korean threats will be met with “power the likes of which the world has never seen before.” 

Traders in Seoul, about 24 miles from the border with the nuclear-armed North, also took the won down 0.9 percent. That’s a bigger reaction than after North Korean provocations:

  • Kospi fell 0.6% and won dropped 0.3% on July 4 after North Korea warned it would make an important announcement (which turned out to be an ICBM launch)
  • Kospi rose 0.1% and won gained 0.3% on July 31, the first trading day after the second ICBM launch

Investors have decades of experience observing North Korean threats. But with Trump, they’re still learning to deal with his unpredictable reactions.

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