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U.S. stock futures eye Syria crisis

6:42 AM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
The New York Stock Exchange stands on Wall Street on August 27, 2013.(Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)
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Wall Street stock futures put on a brave face on Wednesday as global markets saw turmoil over the growing likelihood of Western military action against Syria.

Oil prices advanced. In India, the rupee slumped to a record low against the dollar.

Dow Jones industrial average index futures rose 0.2%, Standard & Poor's 500 index futures were up 0.3% and Nasdaq index futures added 0.2%.

In the prior session, the Dow lost 1.1% to close at 14,776.13. The S&P 500 declined 1.6% to 1,630.48. The Nasdaq ended down 2.2% to 3,578.52.

TUESDAY: Stocks tumble, oil surges on Syria jitters

Japan's Nikkei 225 index sank 1.5% to 13,338.46 on Wednesday, with export-linked shares falling sharply. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.6% to 21,524.65. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index traded down 0.5%.

Fears that the U.S., Britain and other countries are gearing up to confront Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians rose after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military stands ready to strike against Syria if President Obama gives the order.

"Investors are sort of battening down the hatches a bit. I get the sense that this looks like a situation that is likely to be with us for a while," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

Benchmark oil for October delivery rose 88 cents to $109.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $3.09 Tuesday to $109.01 a barrel on the Nymex. That's the highest closing price since February 2012, although oil remains far below its record close of $145.29 a barrel, reached on July 3, 2008.

Concerns over Syria underpinned the move higher for oil even though Syria is not a major oil producer. The fear is that the crisis could spill over into a broader regional conflict.

Elsewhere, volatile markets and renewed fears over the Federal Reserve's planned tapering of U.S. monetary stimulus saw the Indian rupee currency trade below 68 per dollar.

USA Today

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