Traders work on the floor of the NYSE.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Safe-haven assets rallied Friday after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general sparked fears of a broader conflict that could disrupt energy production and drag down the global economy.
Gold rose 1.5% to $1,551.8 per ounce, inches away from hitting a six-year high reached in September. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely with bond prices, tumbled more than 8 basis points to around 1.79%, the biggest decline in one month. The U.S. dollar index popped 0.2%, while the Japanese yen hit a two-month high of 107.92 against the greenback.
Investors flocked to safe assets after the U.S. airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump killed Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad. Soleimani had been a key figure in Iranian politics, and his death has raised concerns over a potential retaliation from the Iranian forces.
Iran’s foreign minister tweeted that the U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its “rogue adventurism,” while the Fars News Agency reported that Iran’s top security body will meet to discuss Tehran’s response.
“It is impossible to know what comes next,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG, said in a note on Friday. “Markets don’t even know what they are waiting for to signal the all-clear siren.”
On the flip side, riskier equities sold off Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down as much as 300 points.
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