US airstrike on Syria sends investors to safe haven assets like gold and the yen while oil prices jump

Courtney Goldsmith
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Stocks Close Sharply Lower As Oil Prices Continue Decline
The US missile strike on Syria shook up global markets (Source: Getty)

Investors flocked to safe haven assets after the US launched an airstrike on Syria late last night.

Geopolitical risks ushered in demand for precious metals and the yen while oil prices jumped to one-month highs.

Gold traded at its highest level since the US election, rallying to a fresh five-month high of $1,269 per ounce. The price has dipped slightly from its highest points earlier this morning, but analysts at Accendo Markets noted the possible emergence of a bullish flag pattern to $1,280 per ounce.

Read more: Gold prices hit a two-week high as the US dollar edges lower

The yen welcomed a major advance among top currencies after the US launched dozens of missiles in response to a poison gas attack in a rebel-held area.

The dollar edged down against the yen, dropping 0.3 per cent to 110.44 yen, down 0.8 per cent for the week.

Crude oil prices surged more than two per cent to a one-month high before dropping back down because there seemed to be no immediate threat to supplies.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures broke $56 a barrel straight after the attack before easing to $55.61 a barrel, still up 1.31 per cent.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures lifted by more than two per cent to a high of $52.94 a barrel before falling back to $52.47 a barrel, still up 1.49 per cent.

The FTSE 100 opened lower this morning, but gains to oil and gold prevented it from falling too much, said Connor Campbell, analyst at SpreadEx.

"The UK index didn’t fall any further thanks to the gains made by Brent crude (the black stuff hoping this morning’s news may impact oil production) and gold (a safe-haven in times of market-angst) leading to a healthy start from the likes of BP, Shell, RandGold Resources and Fresnillo," Campbell said.

Read more: Brent crude oil hits $55 a barrel before slipping on US inventory build

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