Global markets swooned on Friday as news of U.S. authorized air strikes in Iraq raised concerns of escalating geopolitical tensions and market watchers expect the overhang to remain for some time.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 took the largest hit, tumbling over 3 percent, as investors flocked to safe haven assets such as the yen and gold. The Japanese currency strengthened 0.3 percent against the U.S. dollar, while spot gold rose 0.2 percent.
In a press conference late Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his authorization of targeted airstrikes in Northern Iraq to protect American personnel. The airstrikes would be the first carried out by the U.S. military in Iraq since the withdrawal of its forces at the end of 2011.