US Stocks Drop Amidst Rising Tensions in Middle East Due to Iran-Israel War - VRGyani News


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

US Stocks Drop Amidst Rising Tensions in Middle East Due to Iran-Israel War

US stocks faced a notable decline today as investors reacted to the escalating tensions in the Middle East, particularly in the aftermath of Iran's military strike on Israel. The strike, which marked the first direct attack from Iran on Israeli territory, has raised fears of a potential full-blown conflict in the oil-rich region, prompting a reassessment of risk across financial markets.

The benchmark S&P 500 index initially saw gains of 0.8 per cent early in the trading session, only to reverse course and close down 1.2 per cent as anxiety over heightened tensions took hold. The surge in volatility was reflected in the Vix index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, which reached its highest level since late October.

Tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple, and Alphabet were among the hardest hit, experiencing declines of 2 per cent, 2.1 per cent, and 1.8 per cent respectively. The uncertainty surrounding the situation in the Middle East has contributed to a broader sell-off across sectors, with investors wary of potential disruptions to global supply chains and economic activity.

Oil prices experienced significant swings throughout the day, initially dropping nearly 1.5 per cent before stabilizing later in the session. Brent crude, the international benchmark, stood at $90.33 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate settled at $85.64 per barrel. Despite concerns about supply disruptions, the attacks were somewhat anticipated, leading to a measured response from oil markets.

Daniel Hynes, senior commodity strategist at ANZ Bank, noted that the attacks had been well telegraphed, helping to ease concerns in the oil market. However, uncertainty remains high as investors grapple with the potential implications of continued geopolitical instability in the region.

In addition to the impact on energy markets, rising tensions have also fueled inflationary concerns, driving up yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries to five-month highs. The release of stronger-than-anticipated US retail sales figures for March further compounded fears that the economy may be overheating, dampening hopes of potential interest rate cuts.

Amidst the market turbulence, gold prices surged 1.7 per cent to a new record high of $2,382 per troy ounce, underscoring investor appetite for safe-haven assets in times of uncertainty.


The escalating tensions in the Middle East have injected a new wave of uncertainty into global financial markets, prompting a broad-based sell-off in US stocks and driving up volatility. As investors grapple with the potential implications of a wider conflict, concerns over energy supply disruptions, inflationary pressures, and geopolitical instability are likely to remain key drivers of market sentiment in the days ahead.

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