LONDON — The price of gold and silver rose sharply on Friday in response to news that the US launched more than 50 Tomahawk missiles from warships stationed in the Mediterranean at a Syrian airfield.
The commodities, regarded as safe havens in times of financial or political turmoil, are up more than 1%.
The US military action followed a chemical attack that killed at least 80 people in the northwestern part of Syria on Monday.
The governor of Homs, a city roughly 160 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, said at least five people were killed and seven were wounded in the US strikes, Reuters reported.
Though the US strike targeted infrastructure and runways, a large volley of cruise missiles carries the risk of collateral damage to troops stationed nearby. Initial reports from Syrian military sources say the strikes “led to losses,” as Reuters notes.
Gold is up 1.07% as of 7:28 a.m. UK time (2:28 a.m. EST):
And there was a similar reaction in the silver market:
Crude oil prices also jumped after the US action, with the WTI benchmark up 1.26%:
Tony Cross, market analyst for TopTradr, says in an email on Friday morning: “Although we’ve seen a modest retreat from overnight highs above $US53/barrel, with unrest in the Middle East having the clear potential to further disrupt oil flows, there’s little to suggest we’ll see a quick return to the sub-$US50 levels that dominated March’s trade.”
The strikes didn’t have a big effect on currencies, with the pound more or less unmoved against the dollar:
US stock futures recovered from an initial fall. Here’s how traders think the S&P 500 index is forecast to open later on Friday:
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