Tensions in the Middle East stirred global markets today pushing nervous investors into safe-haven assets.
Investors sought safety in gold, pushing bullion prices up to a two-and-a-half week high of $1,219.40 an ounce, on news that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes in the Yemen city of Aden.
Meanwhile, the dollar fell against traditional safe-haven currencies such as the Swiss franc and Japanese yen. The greenback fell to a five-year low against the yen, falling as low as 118.33 yen, before recovering a little.
The uncertainty also caused Brent crude, which is the global benchmark, to jump as high as $59.78 per barrel, taking the black stuff to a two-and-a-half week high.
However, across the world stock markets suffered, as investors poured out of the typically riskier asset class.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index extended losses, after shedding more than one per cent yesterday, and it was trading down 1.3 per cent at 1,566.05 points this afternoon.
The FTSE 100 was trading down 1.4 per cent to 6896.55 points. And the French Cac 40 was 1.3 per cent lower, while the German Dax was down 1.7 per cent.
Over in the US, stocks had opened lower this afternoon, with the S&P 500 erasing its modest gains for this year.