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Markets In Asia, Europe Fall As Middle East Tension Erases New Year Optimism

Markets In Asia, Europe Fall As Middle East Tension Erases New Year Optimism

Markets in Asia and Europe traded lower on Friday as tension in middle-east region flared, following the US airstrikes at Baghdad International Airport that killed a top Iranian military leader.

The U.S. futures dropped significantly too, pointing to potential poor market opening.

What Happened

The U.S. strikes in Iraq have the traders worried about stability in the middle-east region as Iran promises retaliation.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed severe revenge against the "criminals" who killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, Reuters reported. Iran has declared three days long mourning. The governments of Syria and Iraq have criticized U.S. strikes.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his Greece trip and returned home after the attack, Reuters reported. The Israeli military is on high alert, according to the publication.

The Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the killing would increase tensions throughout the region.

'Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people," the ministry said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

President Donald Trump's approval of the strikes has invited criticism domestically from Democrats. Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden said that Trump "owes the American people an explanation" on the government's plan to keep the country's troops safe.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the White House took unilateral actions without the authorization or even consultation with the Congress, Reuters reported.

European Markets

The recent developments erased the market-wide gains made across E.U. indices on Thursday. Here's how the stocks traded at press time on Friday:

France's CAC 40 dropped 0.57% at 6,006.77. The Netherlands' AEX index was down 0.65% at 608.98. Germany's DAX was down 1.44%.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 traded 0.35% lower at 7,577.82.

The overall Eurozone's Euro Stoxx 50 was down 0.88% at 3,759.97.

Asian Markets

Here's how Asia markets performed on Friday:

China's Shanghai Composite was down 0.05% at 3,083.79. Shenzhen Component added 0.27%.

Hong Kong's HSI index traded 0.32% lower at 28,451.50.

Singapore's STI index was down 0.41%. South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.06%.

India's NIFTY traded 0.45% lower, and SENSEX was down 0.39%.

Markets in Japan were closed for a bank holiday.

US Futures

Dow Jones Futures were down 0.93% at 28,573.00.

S&P 500 Futures traded 1.08% lower at 3,223.75.
NASDAQ 100 Futures were down 1.28% at 8,777.75.


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