Oil price jumps after US strike on Syria
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.
Shortly after the start of trading, it was down 0.03% at 7,301.24.
Other asset classes seen as havens in times of trouble made gains. Gold prices were up 1.25% at $1,253.75 an ounce.
The dollar’s performance was mixed, falling slightly against the euro, sterling and yen, but holding its value against many other currencies.
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% 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.