Apr 7, 2017
European Stocks Decline as U.S. Missile Strike Spooks Markets
European stocks fell, mirroring risk-off sentiment in global financial assets, after the U.S. launched a missile attack on Syria.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4 percent at 8:25 a.m. in London. All industry groups fell except energy producers, which tracked an advance in crude prices. Miners fell the most, even as gold producers advanced. The losses dragged the Stoxx 600 toward its worst weekly drop in a month.
- The U.S. launched its first military strike under President Donald Trump's administration, after accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime of using poison gas to kill scores of civilians.
- Haven assets gained, while the VStoxx Index of euro-area volatility expectations climbed 3.3 percent toward its highest level in four months.
- "Geopolitical risk cranks up a notch," according to Mike van Dulken, an analyst at Accendo Markets. "This adds to yesterday's jitters about hawkish Fed minutes, concerns about overstretched equities and Trump trade validity."
- Also in focus today will be the U.S. monthly jobs report. Investors are seeking cues on economic strength after minutes from the Fed's last meeting this week sparked worries about less appetite for future rate increases.
- "Global equities have just had their best quarter in nearly four years," strategists at HSBC wrote in a note. "Valuations are full. Markets need a pause for breath and some near-term earnings validation."