BENGALURU – US stock index futures fell early on Wednesday as investors scurried to safe-haven assets after Iran fired rockets at US-led forces in Iraq in response to the killing of a top Iranian commander, sparking fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles on at least two Iraqi facilities hosting US-led coalition personnel, as the burial of Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone attack on Friday, was concluding.
The retaliation shook global financial markets, with S&P futures .EScv1 tumbling as much as 1.7 percent and the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield falling to a one-month low. Stock markets in Europe were also indicated lower.
Oil and gold prices surged by about 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, before receding slightly as Iranian officials said that their country did not want a war and the strikes “concluded” its response to Soleimani’s killing.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet an assessment of casualties and damage was under way and that he would make a statement on Wednesday morning. A US official said the United States was not aware of any casualties from the strikes.