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A trader works on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Jones at the New York Stock Exchange.
A trader works on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Jones at the New York Stock Exchange.

Markets on Edge as US Hits Syria

Markets on Edge as US Hits Syria

Most world stock indexes fell Friday while oil prices rose after the US fired missiles at Syria during President Donald Trump's first meeting with China's president, leaving investors on edge.
European shares retreated in early trading. France's CAC 40 shed 0.4% to 5,100.17 and Germany's DAX lost 0.6% to 12,159.15. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,305.09. US benchmarks were poised to open lower. Dow futures dipped 0.1% to 20,593.00 and broader S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% to 2,350.20, AP reported.              

Oil prices jumped on concerns the airstrikes would reignite Middle East turmoil. US benchmark crude added 83 cents to a one-month high of $52.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 55 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $51.70 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 77 cents to $55.66 a barrel in London.
Gold, considered a haven from uncertainty, also jumped as investors sought safety following the US military action. The price of gold rose $12.80, or 1% to, $1,266.20 an ounce. Silver made a similar leap.
The strikes came as Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a high-stakes summit in Florida. Tensions over trade and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are among big topics on the agenda for the first meeting between the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies. Trump appeared lighthearted as he greeted Xi ahead of a dinner on Thursday evening before the two were to tackle specifics the next day.
The South Korean electronics giant posted a 48% jump in profits for the first three months of the year, beating analyst forecasts. Samsung released an upbeat earnings preview despite unprecedented crises including criminal charges for top executives linked to a political scandal and a fire-prone smartphone. Full numbers are due later in the month.
In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4% to end at 18,664.63 after dipping earlier in the day. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.2% to 3,286.62. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.1% to 2,151.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was almost flat at 24,267.30 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 recouped earlier losses to end 0.1% higher at 5,862.50. Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.
The dollar fell to 110.66 yen from 110.80 yen.

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