Tense relations between the US and Iran hit a record low with the killing of Quds commander General Soleimani by a US drone in Iraq. The incident also affected oil prices, which skyrocketed to a record high.
Gold, palladium and other risk-averse assets hit major new highs in Monday morning trading on the Asian stock markets, as investors flocked to avoid the continuing fallout from the escalating conflict between Washington and Tehran. Oil, meanwhile, jumped amid fresh supply fears.
Rapidan Energy Group president and former Bush energy official Bob McNally predicted that crude would continue to grow to account for risk. “We are going to grind through the $70s up toward $80 Brent as Iran calibrates and executes its retaliation,” he said, speaking to Bloomberg.
Gold grew 2.3 percent in the space of hours to $1,588.13 per ounce, its highest showing since April 2013. Gavin Wendt, an analyst at Sydney-based financial services company MineLife, said that risks driving gold upward include the ongoing US-China trade talks, as well as the Iran conflict, making it “a no-brainer” for investors.
Overall, the escalating US-Iran conflict had a negative impact on markets, with the MSCI developed markets index for Asia-Pacific shares (excluding Japan) showing a -0.7 percent downturn, while early morning European trading showed the regional Euro Stoxx 50 Futures dropping -0.6 percent, as German DAX futures dropped -0.75 percent, and the FTSE 100 futures slipped -0.4 percent. Overall, Asian equity markets from Japan to Hong Kong all fell. Indian equities and the rupee also fellamid continuing uncertainty about what will happen next in the Middle East.