MidEast tensions rattle regional markets

Business | 3 Jan 2020 1:42 pm

Asian markets were mixed today and oil prices surged after an Iranian general was killed in Iraq by the US in an airstrike.

Benchmarks in Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. Australia and some Southeast Asian markets advanced. Japanese markets were closed.

“A big fat dollop of geopolitical uncertainty has landed on investors desks,” said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report.

Overnight, Wall Street touched new records, boosted by technology stocks.

The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.3 percent at 3,076.73.  Taiwan shares closed up by 9.95 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,110.43 on turnover of NT$192.78 billion (US$6.4 billion).

South Korean stocks pared earlier gains late morning after a strong start due to tensions in the Middle East. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 5.03 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,180.20 as of 11:20 a.m local time.

In Australia, the S&P-ASX 200 gained by 0.64 percent, or 42.90 points at 6,733.50. India’s Sensex opened down 0.3 percent at 41,505.83.

Markets in Malaysia and Indonesia, both oil producers, gained.-AP/The Standard

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