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Global stocks rattle, oil soars as tensions mount in the Middle East

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Laila Kearney

(Reuters) - Global equity markets slid on Wednesday as U.S. warned that missiles "will be coming" in after a suspected chemical attack, and hit its highest since 2014 after said it intercepted an air strike over

The fallout from new U.S. sanctions on have rattled investors and fears of military action were stoked after one of Russia's reiterated it would shoot down any U.S. missiles fired at

Trump, who has criticized for standing by Syrian Bashar al-Assad, shot back in a message on on Wednesday.

"vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'," he wrote in the post. "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

In response, said in a post that "smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.86 points, or 0.53 percent, to 24,278.14, the lost 5.99 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,650.88 and the added 8.66 points, or 0.12 percent, to 7,102.96.

and helped to pare losses in the and Nasdaq.

Inc shares were up 1.5 percent as gave a second day of testimony before the shares climbed more than 3 percent following a target price increase $60 above Wall Street's median price target of $300.The pan-European index lost 0.60 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.16 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.14 percent. MSCI's broadest index of shares outside closed 0.04 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei lost 0.49 percent.

"It feels like there are expectations that the U.S. is going to take some action against Syria," said Phil Blancato, of in "The market, I don't believe, has priced one yet."

Investors' nerves were rattled just a day after worries eased on a more conciliatory tone on trade between Trump and Chinese

Meanwhile, prices hit their highest in more than three years after Trump's latest comments despite bearish inventory numbers. [nL3N1RO18E]

U.S. crude rose 2 percent to $66.82 per barrel and Brent was last at $72.07, up 1.45 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, hitting a two-week low over lingering worries of a trade war with and domestic scandals swirling around Trump.

The dollar index fell 0.08 percent, with the euro up 0.12 percent to $1.2369. [GVD]

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.33 percent versus the greenback at 106.85 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.4183, up 0.08 percent on the day.

The Russian rouble slumped as much as 2.5 percent against the dollar and even more versus the euro.

In metals, aluminum 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

Spot gold added 1.2 percent to $1,355.21 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 1.00 percent to $1,359.30 an ounce as safe-haven demand sharpened.

Palladium, which has also benefited from expectations that sanctions on could hurt supply, rose further after climbing nearly 6 percent in the past two days.

Some metals entered the red. Exchange and said they were taking action to restrict aluminum brands of Rusal, one of the world's biggest producers, on their exchanges.

"There's a lot of panic and uncertainty. Buyers are scrambling to try to replace where they can, to plug the gap left by not having Russian-origin metal," said Robin Bhar, at in

yields edged higher after slipping on U.S. consumer price data that reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a gradual pace.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 2.7899 percent, from 2.797 percent late on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Tom Finn, and in London; Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Jessica Resnick-Ault 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: Wed, April 11 2018. 23:36 IST
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