LONDON — Tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top Iranian general by the United States erased new year gains for a gauge of world shares on Monday as investors pushed safe-haven gold to a seven-year high, and oil jumped to its highest since September.
The United States detected a heightened state of alert by Iran’s missile forces, as President Donald Trump warned the U.S. would strike back, “perhaps in a disproportionate manner,” if Iran attacked any American person or target.
Iraq’s parliament on Sunday recommended all foreign troops be ordered out of the country after the U.S. killing of the Iranian military commander and an Iraqi militia leader in a drone strike on a convoy at Baghdad airport.
Spot gold gained 1.6 per cent to US$1,579.72 per ounce in jittery trade to reach its highest since April 2013. Oil prices extended gains on fears any Middle East conflict could disrupt global supplies.
Brent crude futures rose 2.04 per cent to US$70 a barrel, while U.S. crude climbed 1.7 per cent to US$64.12. The S&P 500’s two-day slide hit 1.1 per cent amid the ongoing fallout.