Regional stocks rattled, investors rush to safe haven gold

Business | 6 Jan 2020 10:33 am

Stocks declined and gold and US Treasuries advanced in the wake of escalating Middle East tensions as Asian financial markets return to full strength following New Year holidays.

Spot gold gained by 1.5 percent at US$1,579.55 per ounce in jittery trade and reached its highest since April 2013, Reuters reported. In the oil markets, Brent soared by 2.1 percent at US$70.06 a barrel.

Japan’s currency matched a three-month high in the wake of fallout, though pared earlier gains from the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander in Iraq.

Gold surged to the highest in more than six years and Treasury yields ticked lower.

Japanese and Australian equities fell, and U.S. futures slipped. Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks opened lower. Australian shares lost 0.42 percent at 6,705.20.

South Korean stocks continued to trade sharply lower late  morning. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 19.97 points, or 0.92 percent, to reach 2,156.49 as of 11:20 a.m local time.

The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest loss in a month Friday in the wake of the killing.

All of the Middle East’s major equity gauges fell yesterday as the security situation appeared to deteriorate. Iran said it would no longer abide by any limits on its enrichment of uranium, while President Donald Trump said the U.S. had identified 52 Iranian sites it would hit if Tehran retaliates over its slain general, Qassem Soleimani. -Bloomberg/The Standard 


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