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Oil prices slide after Syria air strikes

AFP  |  London 

prices slid today after US-led strikes on did not provoke an escalation in the conflict, while equities were mixed.

The United States, Britain and carried out attacks at the weekend on alleged chemical weapons facilities, in response to what they say was a by the Russia-backed regime a week before.

"Even though investors have moved past the missile strikes and are working on the basis that there will be no extended conflict or market-adverse retaliation, equity markets are struggling for direction," noted

Crude prices, however, fell back after having run up to highs not seen since the end of 2014 last week as tensions rose ahead of the attack in the tinderbox oil-rich region.

"The strike on Syrian over the weekend marks the end of the recent standoff," noted

"Market realisation that this attack largely draws the line under the issue has brought about a sharp decline in prices in early trade..." The commodities-heavy FTSE-100 in was weighed down as prices slid, falling 0.5 per cent in afternoon trading.

Shares in were down 1.3 per cent, which shares gave up 0.6 per cent.

The index also lost ground as the strong pound weighed on the share prices of multinationals earning large amounts in other currencies.

In the eurozone, shares in and were both down around 0.1 per cent. Wall Street opened higher, buoyed by data showing US rose for the first time in four months. The Dow climbed by 0.7 per cent in the first minute of trading.

Sentiment was also boosted by beating earnings estimates with first quarter profits rising by a third to USD 6.5 billion.

"US stocks are adding to last week's advance in early action, with late-Friday's US-led targeted missile strikes in appearing to not exacerbate concerns that they will escalate tensions with and Iran," said analysts at brokerage.

While there was broad support for the Syria mission, condemned it as illegal and warned it would provoke "chaos" in international relations.

The Syria crisis, which has seen the West's relationship with grow increasingly frosty, has encompassed other regional players including Iran, and Israel, and led to talk of a military standoff.

It also comes against the backdrop of a trade dispute between the and Many fear this could hammer the global economy if the two sides push through tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods.

Most Asian markets dipped today but eked out gains.

British advertising and marketing group topped the FTSE fallers after resigned over the weekend.

Sorrell's departure came 10 days after launched an independent probe into allegations of his personal misconduct through the misuse of company assets.

The company, widely regarded as a bellwether for the global advertising industry, saw its stock dive 5.1 per cent.

"has been losing ground in the recently, as traditional advertising is losing out to online and social media marketing," said

"Sir Martin was an integral part of WPP, and some market confidence has been lost now that he is no longer at the helm.

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

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 20:36 IST
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