Exchange & Stocks
Dow Jones and S&P 500 stock indexes posted their biggest losses in a month after a US assault assassinated Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, tempered only by the buoyant mood of defense and oil-related shares.
Wall Street stocks went down at the news of the assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq on Friday morning.
As markets closed on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 233.92 points or 0.8 percent, in what was its biggest single-day drop in a month. The S&P 500 did not fare much better, plummeting more than 0.7 percent to close the day at 3.234.85 as renewed fears over of a large-scale conflict potentially breaking out in the Middle East soured investor mood.
Defense and aerospace shares surged, however, with Northrop Grumman (NOC) stocks rising 5.45 percent. Lockheed Martin, the maker of the beleaguered F-35 jets, saw its stocks jump 3.63 percent, their best showing in half a year. Missile-maker Raytheon also rallied at the news, adding around 1.5 percent.
Oil and gold stocks were also jubilant. Brent crude leaped 3.5 percent to over $68 a barrel, while US crude climbed 3.1 percent to reach $63.05 a barrel. The US attack drove up gold prices, too. They rose to the highest level in four months.
Surging oil prices caused air carriers to slump as well, with American Airlines losing 4.81% of its value and Delta Air Lines 1.86%, and United losing 2%.
The top commander was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by US aircraft at Baghdad International Airport early Friday morning. The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi.
The Pentagon has announced that President Donald Trump authorized a US military strike near Baghdad's airport which resulted in the martyrdom of General Soleimani.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has stated those who assassinated General Soleimani must await a tough revenge.