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Global Stocks, US Futures Surge, Safe Havens Retreat, As US And Iran Signal Peace

Neer Varshney

Stock Markets in Asia and Europe breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after a week of anxiety over US-Iran relations that seemed to head to a war-like situation.

Safe havens like gold, Japanese yen, and Swiss franc retreated after surging earlier in the week as traders looked to secure their investments.

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), too suffered marketwide losses on Thursday.

What Happened

President Donald Trump, in his Wednesday address, said that the U.S. wants to pursue de-escalation of the situation.

The Trump Administration will move for economic sanctions instead of further military action, he suggested.

“The U.S. is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” the president said, adding that Iran too appeared to be “standing down.”

Trump was speaking in the aftermath of Iran’s strikes at Iraqi airbases that hosted American troops. No casualties were reported from the incident.

Irani leaders, too, have said that the country will not pursue further escalation in the absence of American provocation.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations told the bloc that it doesn’t seek “escalation or war,” and that its strikes were a “measured and proportionate military response.”

Some analysts are doubting whether this will indeed be the end of Iran’s revenge for killing Soleimani, who was often described as Iran’s second most powerful person after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, The Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The experts polled by The Nikkei noted that Iranian hackers are notorious for cyber attacks, and more such attacks could follow as revenge for Soleimani’s death.

Nevertheless, fears of immediate armed conflicts seem to have eased.

Asia, Europe Stocks

This is how stock markets in Asia performed at press time:

Japan's Nikkei 225 index was up 2.31% at 23,739.87 and TOPIX traded 1.63% higher.

China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.91% at 3,094.88. Shenzhen Component was up 1.75%.

Hong Kong's HSI index traded 1.68% higher at 28,558.76.

South Korea's KOSPI added 1.63% at 2,186.45. India's Nikkei 50 and SENSEX both traded 1.4% higher.

Elsewhere in Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index traded 0.45% higher at 7,608.74 in early trade. Germany's DAX index was up 1.18% at 13,478.38. France's CAC 40 traded 0.51% higher.

US Futures

Dow Jones futures were up 0.28% at 28,850. NASDAQ 100 futures traded 0.42% higher at 8,982.50. S&P 500 futures were up 0.31% at 3,270.50

Safe Havens

Gold futures were down 0.86% at $1,546.85. Silver futures were down 1.32% at $17.93.

The U.S. dollar gained 0.22% against the Japanese Yen at 109.36. The dollar was 0.04% up against the Swiss franc at 0.9741.

Bitcoin was down 4.54% at $7937.53.

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