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Stock market today: Global markets mixed as Middle East tensions escalate

Stock market today: Global markets mixed as Middle East tensions escalate


HONG KONG — Asian stocks fell while European markets opened higher on Monday as concerns over a possible escalation of tensions in the Middle East roiled financial markets, pushing investors to seek safer places for their money.

The future of S&The P 500 gained 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.4% higher.

Oil prices fell despite tensions roiling the Middle East, where an attack Saturday night marked the first time Iran launched a military attack on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country.

Benchmark U.S. oil fell 97 cents to $84.69 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost $1.22 to $89.23. Slowing Chinese demand, combined with expectations that supply growth would outpace demand, has kept prices in check.

Although the drone attack grabbed headlines, its immediate impact on global markets, particularly on oil prices and inflationary concerns, may be muted, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, in a comment. The precision and limited lethal impact of the Iranian response suggest a strategic approach aimed at minimizing damage rather than increasing tensions.

European markets were mostly higher in early trading, with Germany's DAX up 0.8% at 18,075.85. The CAC 40 in Paris increased by 0.6% to 8,060.14. In London, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.5% to 7,959.92.

In Asian trading, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.7% to 39,232.80.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 153.87 Japanese yen from 153.07 yen, hitting a new 34-year high as investors turned to the traditional safe haven in times of uncertainty. The euro costs $1.0659, up from $1.0635.

Australia S&The P/ASX 200 fell 0.4% to 7,754.50, while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4% to 2,670.43.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 16,619.33. The Shanghai Composite index gained 1.3% to 3,057.38 after market regulators announced new support measures for the financial sector.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan's Taiex was down 1.4% and India's Sensex fell 0.8% as the country prepared for a lengthy national election process.

Stocks fell on Wall Street on Friday after a mixed start to the earnings season.

THE&The P 500 fell 1.5%, capping its worst week since October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2% and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.6% from its record set the day before.

This year, numerous reports have shown that inflation and the economy as a whole remain higher than expected. That forced traders to lower their forecasts for how many times the Federal Reserve could cut its main interest rate this year. Traders are largely betting on just two cuts, according to CME Group data, down from forecasts of at least six at the start of the year.

U.S. stock indexes had already hit record highs, partly due to expectations of such declines. Without more favorable interest rates, companies will have to generate higher profits to justify their stock prices, which critics say appear too expensive by various measures.




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