Crude and gold extend gains, stocks sink on fear of US-Iran war

Oil prices jumped, gold hit a 6.5-year high and most equities tumbled Monday after the US assassination last week of a top Iranian general continued to fuel fears of a major conflict in the Middle East, dealers told AFP.

Oil extended those gains on Monday and gold shone brightly to touch 1,588.13 US dollars per ounce — a level last seen in April 2013 — as investors flocked to the safe-haven precious metal.

The crisis has jolted investors, who had been in an upbeat mood as china and the US prepare to sign their mini trade deal next week, while data indicates a slight improvement in the global economy.

Both main crude contracts rallied, with Brent topping $70 for the first time since September when attacks on two Saudi Arabian facilities briefly halved output by the world’s top producer.

Asian and European stock markets meanwhile continued to tank, having wobbled before the weekend as the assassination news flashed across traders’ screens.

Equity markets tracked losses on wall street, where the three main indexes fell from record highs Friday, while all seven bourses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states finished sharply down, with some fearing Iranian revenge attacks on us assets or troops.

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