LONDON – The price of oil has hit its highest level for a month in response to the US military’s missile attack on a Syrian government airbase. The price of Brent crude surged above $56 a barrel before easing slightly. Syria has limited oil production, but its location in the Middle East and alliances with big oil producers raised worries about a spreading conflict that could disrupt crude shipments.
European markets showed slight falls, with London’s FTSE 100 opening lower. By late morning, it was in positive territory, up 0.04 per cent at 7,306.45. However, Frankfurt’s Dax and the Paris Cac index remained 0.46 per cent and 0.26 per cent lower respectively. Other asset classes seen as havens in times of trouble made gains. Gold prices were up 1.25 per cent at $1,253.75 an ounce. The dollar’s performance was mixed, falling slightly against many Asian currencies, including the yen.
However, it gained ground against sterling and the euro. Earlier in Asian markets, energy shares rose as a result of the airstrike, giving a boost to Japan’s Nikkei index, which closed up 0.36 per cent at 18,664. Analysts said the market impact of the attacks was likely to be short-lived, since the US had described it as a “one-off”.
“It was a knee-jerk reaction because markets are starting to come back a little, as it doesn’t seem like there will be further retaliation coming,” said Christoffer Moltke-Leth at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore. Agencies.