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GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks, oil, gold fall on Syria uncertainty
2013年8月30日 / 下午3点24分 / 4 年前

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stocks, oil, gold fall on Syria uncertainty

* Dollar remains near 4-week high
    * U.S. shares fall as Syria attack likelihood fades
    * Oil and gold fall

    NEW YORK, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Stocks and oil fell on Friday
as lacklustre U.S. economic data moderated expectations of a
reduction soon of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program,
and as the chances weakened of an imminent Western military
strike against Syria.
    The U.S. dollar rose to a four-week high against a basket of
major currencies on Friday, helped by persistent uncertainty
about Syria and a weak euro which fell after data showed benign
inflation and elevated unemployment in the euro zone.
    U.S. consumer spending barely rose, up 0.1 percent, and
inflation was tame in July, with a price index for consumer
spending edging up 0.1 percent. 
    "You are getting a lot of push-pull from the Syria thing -
will they, won't they - and then the data," said John Canally,
investment strategist and economist for LPL Financial in Boston.
    "This one fits in the category of another soft report and it
is going to give the Fed a problem because the economy is going
to be weak and yet they are going to taper anyway."
    U.S. stocks slipped, with the S&P500 index likely to end
August with its worst monthly showing in over a year, as the
likelihood faded of an imminent U.S.-led strike against Syria.
    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 45.85
points, or 0.31 percent, at 14,795.10. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index  was down 5.48 points, or 0.33 percent, at
1,632.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index  was down 24.92
points, or 0.69 percent, at 3,595.39. 
    An extended holiday weekend in America with Labor Day on
Monday, and month-end positioning by traders, kept activity
light. Market participants remained worried about the Middle
East and the potential impact of an early withdrawal of stimulus
by the Federal Reserve.
    "I think the dollar recovery trend remains in place, though
we may see a pause over the next few days," said Ian Stannard,
head of European foreign exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley.
    "The underlying fundamental picture is still there and that
comes down to a rise in global yields and a rise in the U.S.
dollar that is still going to weigh on the more vulnerable
    Most major equity markets and many emerging currencies
looked set to end the week and the month sharply lower as
investors pull out of riskier assets in expectation of the Fed
action and some form of Western intervention against Syria.
    The growing caution was reflected in a Reuters asset
allocation poll of 54 fund managers across the United States,
Europe and Japan. It showed investors had increased cash
holdings to their highest level in a year, while also lifting
exposure to equities and cutting bond positions. 
    Fears of a broader conflict in the Middle East have eased
slightly after Britain said it would not join any military
action, although France said it still supported a move to punish
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for an apparent
poison gas attack on civilians. 
    Any military strike now looks likely to be delayed at least
until U.N. investigators report back after leaving Syria on
Saturday, with Russia still fiercely opposing any move and 
China cautioning against any U.N. Security Council action until
the investigation is complete. 
    The easing of tensions over Syria sent Brent crude oil to
near $115 a barrel, off highs of $117 set earlier this week when
military action seemed imminent. U.S. crude was down 74
cents to $108.04.
    "The situation is still volatile," said Alex Yap, an analyst
at energy consultancy FGE in Singapore. "If the U.S. decides to
attack, prices could be pushed higher."
    MSCI's world equity index, which tracks
shares in 45 countries, fell 0.3 percent on Friday, heading for
its worst week since June 21. 
    European shares felt the pressure from a drop in oil stocks
with the broader STOXX Europe 600 index down 0.7
percent, taking its weekly losses to around 2.2 percent. 
    Earlier, Japan's Nikkei lost 0.5 percent despite new
data that painted a brighter economic picture. 
    Currency markets focused on the economic outlook and
interest rate differentials.
    The two-year U.S. Treasury yield recently climbed
to its highest since early July and the 10-year yield
 climbed back up to 2.76 percent and lent support to
the dollar.
    The dollar index, which measures its value against
six major currencies, was at 82.110, not far from a four-week
high of 82.141 touched earlier in the day.
    Among emerging currencies, the Indian rupee has
tumbled 10.4 percent against the dollar so far this month, and
looks to be heading for its largest monthly fall ever, according
to Thomson Reuters data.
    A senior finance ministry official told Reuters that India
is attempting to coordinate intervention in offshore currency
markets with other emerging-economy countries.. 
    A Brazilian finance ministry official, speaking on condition
of anonymity, said the Brazilian government is not aware of any
concrete or immediate plan to coordinate offshore intervention.
    In commodity markets, gold fell 0.9 percent to below
$1,400 an ounce, moving away from a 3-1/2 month high hit
Wednesday when fears over Syria prompted a flight to safety.

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