Oil Edge up, Asian Shares Rumble, Gold Up Following U.S. Airstrike in Iraq
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Oil Edge up, Asian Shares Rumble, Gold Up Following U.S. Airstrike in Iraq

Asian stocks slid Friday, erasing early gains, while gold shone and oil prices skyrocketed after U.S. airstrikes in Iraq killed a top Iranian commander, intensifying geopolitical strains.

Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, chief of the elite Quds Force and top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis have been killed early on Friday in a U.S. airstrike on their convoy at Baghdad airport.

MSCI’s widest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had reached its highest point since June 15, 2018, in early trade; however, it dropped after stories of the airstrike emerged.

European shares had been set to follow their Asian equivalents lower. Pan-area Euro Stoxx 50 futures decreased 0.66% to 3,757, German DAX futures had been down 0.6% to 13,303.5 and FTSE futures gave up 0.42% to 7,514.

China’s CSI300 index, one of the world’s greatest-performing indexes in 2019, struggled to stay in positive territory; however, was last down about 0.2%. Australian shares finished up 0.64%, but off earlier highs.

Middle Eastern strains upset a rally for the index, which ended at its highest close in over18 months Thursday.

It had been boosted by a New Year’s Day declaration from China’s central bank that it would cut the amount of money that banks should hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan ($114.87 billion).

Against the backdrop of a split in trade tensions between the U.S. and China, global markets had seen the renewed appetite for risk assets.

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