Markets faced turbulence on Monday as all four major U.S. indices took a downward turn, influenced by the Israel-Hamas conflict which escalated into an outright war over the weekend. The crypto economy experienced a 1.8% dip against the U.S. dollar on the same day. Meanwhile, the onset of the Middle Eastern conflict spurred a surge in precious metals and crude oil prices.
Mideast Crisis Sends U.S. Stocks, Crypto on Downward Spiral; Oil, Metals Gain Ground
U.S. stocks took a hit on Monday, even as the bond market paused for Columbus Day. The market, already grappling with challenges from the Ukraine-Russia conflict, surging inflation, and climbing interest rates, is facing added pressure. While Friday saw a positive close for all four key indices — S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and Wilshire 5000 — Monday morning painted a different picture with declining figures. The recent dip is largely attributed to the unfolding uncertainties in the Mideast conflict.
The crypto economy mirrored the downturn in equities on Monday, sinking over 1.8% with BTC dwindling by 1.7% and ETH dropping 2.46% against the U.S. dollar during the early trading hours (Eastern Time). In contrast, defense giants like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin saw their shares ascend nearly 5% on the same day. While stocks and cryptocurrencies faltered against the dollar, traditional safe havens like Treasury bonds, gold, silver, and the Japanese yen experienced an uptick on October 9. Gold gleamed with a 0.74% rise in a day, while silver’s value edged up by 0.16% at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
Crude varieties such as WTI and Brent experienced significant surges, with WTI climbing 3.7% and Brent ascending 3.46% over the last 24 hours. Susannah Streeter, Hargreaves Lansdown’s head of money and markets, remarked to Bitcoin.com News that surging oil prices are likely to fan the flames of inflation concerns. She noted, ”The shocking attacks in Israel have sent the price of oil soaring, as investors assess the potential for the conflict to disrupt supply in the Middle East, if other countries are drawn in.”
The market strategist at Hargreaves Lansdown further commented:
This latest jump will fuel inflationary worries, at a time when investors are already jittery about the interest rates potentially staying higher for longer.
This uptick in oil prices aligns with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raising its output projections to 116 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2045, a hike of 6 million bpd from last year’s forecast. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s energy czar, prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, told CNBC that OPEC is adopting a “precautionary approach.” The consortium, led by Riyadh, has scaled back oil output, and there’s chatter about potential further reductions down the line.
What do you think about the Mideast conflicts that are shaking global markets? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.