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Global stocks fall, oil up as Mideast tensions rise

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By and Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks across the globe fell on Wednesday as U.S. taunted for supporting Syria's after a on rebels, while hit its highest since 2014 after said it intercepted a missile over

Trump warned of imminent military action in Syria, declaring that missiles "will be coming" despite a warning from that any U.S. missiles fired at over the deadly assault on a rebel enclave near would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

The animosity kept investors on edge and weighed on risky assets like stocks, while the safe-haven yen rose against the U.S. dollar.

"There's general nervousness about what might happen with any strikes and the potential escalation of tensions with Russia," said Anwiti Bahuguna, at in

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 218.55 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,189.45, the <.SPX> lost 14.68 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,642.19 and the <.IXIC> added 8.66 points, or 0.12 percent, to 7,102.96.

The pan-European index <.FTEU3> lost 0.60 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.32 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.02 percent. MSCI's broadest index of shares outside <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.06 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> lost 0.49 percent.

The is worried about trade tensions with China, but minutes from the most recent Fed meeting suggest those concerns have not translated into worry about the overall - or a more complacent monetary policy.

"The minutes were modestly negative," said John Carey, at in "People had been speculating that due to all the turbulence in the market because of geopolitical uncertainties that the Fed might consider pausing or slowing down the interest rate increases."

prices hit their highest in more than three years despite a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories as investors fretted over conflict escalation in the [nL3N1RO18E]

"A bearish inventory report was quickly negated on word of intercepted rockets over Riyadh, which just adds to the recent spike in geopolitical tensions," said Anthony Headrick, market analyst and at

U.S. crude rose 1.89 percent to $66.75 per barrel and Brent was last at $71.89, up 1.2 percent on the day.

prices began to climb on Trump's warning over Syria, then rallied further on a report that Saudi Arabia's air defence forces intercepted a missile over Riyadh, the capital.

The dollar fell against the yen as escalating geopolitical concerns added to lingering worries over U.S. trade policy and domestic scandals swirling around Trump.

"It's a risk-off kind of day," said Minh Trang, senior at in Santa Clara, California, referring to increased geopolitical tensions.

"The yen typically is a flight to safety," Trang noted.

The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.07 percent, with the euro up 0.1 percent to $1.2366. [GVD]

The strengthened 0.39 percent versus the greenback at 106.80 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.4177, up 0.04 percent on the day.

The Russian ruble slumped as much as 3.2 percent against the dollar before rising 1.0 percent after two days of steep losses.

In metals, aluminium prices extended their rally to a sixth straight session, hitting an 11-week peak amid persistent worry about shortages after the imposed sanctions on Russia's <0486.HK>.

Spot gold added 1.1 percent to $1,353.16 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.80 percent to $1,356.70 an ounce as safe-haven demand sharpened.

yields edged lower with bond prices higher on the escalating geopolitical tensions. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.7808 percent, from 2.797 percent late on Tuesday.

(Reporting by and Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by April Joyner, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, and in New York; Editing by and Dan Grebler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 02:45 IST