► The surprise attack by Hamas on Israel has intensified global market fears, resulting in a 4% surge in oil prices. Investors, seeking safe havens, flocked to gold, bonds and USD. WTI Crude oil touched $87 a barrel, while Brent Crude oil approached $89, amid concerns of a broader conflict potentially triggering a supply shock.
► Investors will be closely following further developments in the Middle East, especially given the overarching inflationary pressures globally and continued discussions around potential Federal Reserve interest rate hikes this year.
► Amid the heightened geopolitical uncertainties, the USD strengthened against the EUR and GBP. The JPY, another haven, also saw a boost. Reports suggest Iranian involvement in planning the Hamas strike, intensifying tensions in the region. Iran rejected claims it was involved in Hamas attacks, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported, citing Ali Karimi-Maqam, a member of Tehran’s delegation to the United Nations. “We stand at Palestine’s side in firm support out of sympathy,” he said. “But we have no role in Palestine’s response, because it is done purely by Palestine itself.”
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