Fears of Strike on Syria Stalk Markets - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fears of Strike on Syria Stalk Markets

LONDON (AP) - Growing fears of a U.S.-led military strike against Syria continued to weigh on stocks Wednesday and at one point sent the price of oil soaring to its highest level since May 2011. However, the mood in financial markets appeared to stabilize as the day wore on.

Concerns of an attack have swelled this week following claims that President Bashar Assad's government was responsible for a chemical attack on civilians outside Damascus on Aug. 21. Assad denies the allegations.

On Wednesday, Britain said it would put forward a resolution to the U.N. Security Council condemning the Syrian government. A statement from Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Britain would seek a measure "authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians" in Syria. Military force is one of the options that can be authorized under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter.

Investors have responded to the prospect of a military strike and uncertainty in the Middle East by punishing supposedly risky assets such as stocks in favor of traditional safer investments like gold.

"Tuesday's risk-off tone remains in evidence but to a lesser degree although uncertainty remains the order of the day," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 0.2 percent at 6,430 while Germany's DAX fell 1 percent to 8,157. The CAC-40 in France was 0.2 percent lower at 3,960.

In the U.S., stocks rose after Tuesday's broad sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.5 percent at 14,825 while the broader S&P 500 index rose the same rate to 1,639.

Though stocks have taken a bit of a pounding this week, other assets have posted big gains, notably the price of oil.

"While Syria isn't a big producer of oil, the potential for the conflict to escalate in the Middle East is likely to continue to push prices higher, unless we see attempts from the U.S. to ease concerns about some form of military action," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

The benchmark New York rate was trading 86 cents higher to $109.87 a barrel, having earlier risen to a high of $112.24, its highest level since May 2011. On Tuesday, the oil price jumped $3.09 to $109.01 a barrel, its highest closing price since February 2012. Despite the recent gains, the oil price remains far below its record close of $145.29 a barrel, reached on July 3, 2008.

Gold has also been in demand this week through its status as a haven in times of geopolitical uncertainty. After hitting a three-month high of $1,434 an ounce, the yellow metal fell back to trade flat 0.2 percent down on the day at $1,417.

The dollar was a tad stronger Wednesday and clawed back some recent ground. The euro was 0.4 percent lower at $1.3329 and the dollar rose 0.6 percent to 97.66 yen.

The prospect of a strike on Syria has been felt across financial markets as investors searched out safer places for their money.

India's rupee, for example, fell to a new low against the U.S. dollar. One dollar now buys about 68.4 rupees compared with 66.2 rupees only a day earlier. The stock benchmark in the Philippines shed 3 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index sank 1.5 percent to close at 13,338.46, its lowest finish in two months, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.6 percent to 21,524.65. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slid 1.1 percent to 5,087.20.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • AT&T, Time Warner close $81B merger 2 days after judge OKs

    AT&T, Time Warner close $81B merger 2 days after judge OKs

    Thursday, June 14 2018 9:38 PM EDT2018-06-15 01:38:05 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 5:24 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:24:24 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018, file photo, the logos for Time Warner and AT&T appear above alternate trading posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A federal judge has approved the $85 billion me...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018, file photo, the logos for Time Warner and AT&T appear above alternate trading posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A federal judge has approved the $85 billion me...

    AT&T and Time Warner have completed their merger, one of the biggest media deals ever, just two days after a federal judge approved the combination over objections by the Trump Justice Department that it would hurt...

    AT&T and Time Warner have completed their merger, one of the biggest media deals ever, just two days after a federal judge approved the combination over objections by the Trump Justice Department that it would hurt consumers.

  • California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma

    California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma

    Saturday, June 16 2018 1:38 AM EDT2018-06-16 05:38:55 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 5:22 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:22:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File). FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, a barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday, June 15, 2018, that would declare coffee ...(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File). FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, a barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday, June 15, 2018, that would declare coffee ...

    California officials, having concluded coffee drinking is not a risky pastime, are proposing a regulation that will essentially tell consumers of America's favorite beverage they can drink up without fear.

    California officials, having concluded coffee drinking is not a risky pastime, are proposing a regulation that will essentially tell consumers of America's favorite beverage they can drink up without fear.

  • Pope: Abortion is 'white glove' equivalent to Nazi crimes

    Pope: Abortion is 'white glove' equivalent to Nazi crimes

    Saturday, June 16 2018 10:59 AM EDT2018-06-16 14:59:00 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 5:22 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:22:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino). Pope Francis greets members of an association of people honored by the Italian Presidency for their commitment to their work, in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Friday, June 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino). Pope Francis greets members of an association of people honored by the Italian Presidency for their commitment to their work, in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Friday, June 15, 2018.

    Pope Francis has denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children God gives them.

    Pope Francis has denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children God gives them.

Powered by Frankly