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World stocks dip, oil gains as Syria fears go on; U.S. bank shares fall

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By and Rodrigo Campos

(Reuters) - extended recent gains and a gauge of global stocks eased on Friday as concern over a broader conflict in left investors nervous, while U.S. led Wall Street lower.

The State Department said on Friday that it had proof that carried out a in the town of

The prospect of Western military action in that could lead to confrontation with hung over the

added to recent gains that drove them to highs not seen since late 2014 and posted their biggest weekly gain since July.

"The geopolitical jitters just keep getting priced in here more and more, as we get closer to the moment of the strikes, if there are any," said John Kilduff, at hedge fund Management. He noted that Syria poses a large risk to global stability because of its relationship with powerful

On Wall Street, fear of broader conflict in Syria further unnerved investors, while financial stocks led the day's declines.

Shares of were down 2.7 percent after its earnings missed estimates, while dropped 1.6 percent despite beating profit estimates. An index of fell 2.6 percent.

Weak loan growth weighed on bank shares, said RJ Grant, at Keefe, in "If you didn't own financials going into the quarter, there was nothing in the numbers today that would make you excited about owning them," said.

The banks' results kicked off the U.S. earnings reporting period. Tax cuts are expected to help corporate post its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years. Earnings at companies are estimated to grow by 18.4 percent from a year earlier.

The <.DJI> fell 122.91 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,360.14, the <.SPX> lost 7.69 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,656.3 and the <.IXIC> dropped 33.60 points, or 0.47 percent, to 7,106.65.

For the week, the S&P 500 was up 2 percent, rose 1.8 percent and Nasdaq gained 2.8 percent.

The pan-European index <.FTEU3> rose 0.10 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.15 percent. The MSCI index ended the week with its strongest performance in five.

In the oil market, U.S. crude rose 32 cents to settle at $67.39 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 56 cents to $72.58.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of major currencies as traders waited for more clarity on a possible Western military intervention in Syria.

The dollar index <.DXY>, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was 0.03 percent higher at 89.78.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.01 percent versus the greenback at 107.36 per dollar.

Aluminium hit a six-year high on Friday and posted its biggest weekly gain since the current contract was launched after the imposed sanctions on Russia's <0486.HK>, the world's second-biggest [MET/L]

aluminium hit its highest since March 2012 at $2,340 a tonne before retreating to close at $2,285, down 1.7 percent.

Spot gold added 0.7 percent to $1,345.01 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.50 percent to $1,348.60 an ounce.

In the bond market, the yield curve hovered at its lowest level in more than decade as short-dated yields have risen more than longer-dated ones this week on expectations of further interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

Graphic: U.S. yield curve flattest in a decade

The (HKMA) stepped into the currency market and bought another HK$3.368 billion ($429.08 million) in Hong Kong dollars late in the U.S. session on Friday, as the local currency hit the weaker end of its trading range.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.8248 percent, from 2.834 percent late on Thursday.

(Reporting by and Rodrigo Campos; additional reporting by Richard Leong, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed, and in New York, Editing by and Cynthia Osterman)

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

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 03:03 IST