Futures down on possible military action in Syria

As the prospect of a strike by the US and its allies against elements in the Middle Eastern nation increase, global shares have taken a beating.

By Benzinga Aug 28, 2013 8:49AM

zurbar age fotostockBy Laura Brodbeck


Global markets have been taking a beating as the tension between the U.S. and Syria escalates and the prospect of military action increases. The U.S. government has taken a firm stance, saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's involvement in a chemical strike is undeniable and that a military response could come as early as Thursday.


Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is set to speak Wednesday from the heart of the UK's manufacturing region, Nottingham. He's expected to defend of his low interest rates plan.


  • The Bank of Japan pledged to continue with quantitative easing until the region's inflation drops to 2%.

  • Going into September, German GfK consumer confidence survey eased after an upward climb since February. The survey's sentiment indicator fell from 7.0 in the previous month to 6.9 going into September.

  • New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries reported that products from the dairy company Fonterra did not contain botulism as was originally feared. Earlier this month, a botulism scare caused a ban on Fonterra products and dragged the New Zealand dollar down.

  • In Japan, officials formally raised the warning of the water leak the Fukushima nuclear power plant to a level 3.

Asian markets

Asian markets were down across the board on Wednesday. A strong yen helped pull the Japanese Nikkei index down 1.51%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index had the largest drop with a 1.60% loss. Australia's ASX 300 was down 1.50% and China's Shenzhen index lost 1.14%.


European markets

Worries that the U.S. will lead a military strike in Syria kept European stocks low for the third consecutive day. The UK's FTSE index was down 0.33% and the eurozone's STOXX 600 index fell 0.22%. The German DAX shed 0.41% but Italy's FTSE MIB gained 0.80%.


Commodities

Commodities surged in Asian trading this morning, Brent and WTI futures were up 1.43% and 1.20% respectively. Gold rose 0.39% and Silver jumped 0.99%. In contrast, industrial metals were mostly down as copper lost 0.51% and aluminum was down 0.34%.


Currencies

The U.S. dollar climbed again on Wednesday as investors were drawn to its safety. The greenback gained 0.16% against the euro and 0.27% against the pound. The Indian rupee continued its slide and lost 2.68%. The yen was also a winner in currency markets as investors also considered the Japanese currency to be a safe haven. The yen climbed 0.23% against the dollar.


Earnings reported Tuesday

Notable companies that reported earnings on Tuesday included:

  • TiVo (TIVO) reported a second quarter loss of $0.09 per share on revenue of $100.10 million. The company's earnings report was mostly in line with expectations.

  • Brown Shoe Company (BWS) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.33 on revenue of $621.70 million, above expectations of $0.22 earnings per share on revenue of $596.73 million.

  • Tiffany & Co (TIF) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.83 on revenue of $926.00 million, above expectations of $0.74 earnings per share on revenue of $941.21 million.

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO) reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.68 on revenue of $4.05 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $1.49 on revenue of $3.88 billion.

  • Regis Corporation (RGS) reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.06 on revenue of $502.30 million, below expectations of $0.12 earnings per share on $513.19 million worth of revenue.

Premarket movers

Stocks moving in the premarket included:

  • Carnival (CCL) was down 0.82% in premarket trade after two of the company's ships lost power in vital functions.

  • Newmont Mining (NEM) gained 3.52% in premarket trade as gold prices shot up amid worries about stability in the Middle East.

  • Walt Disney (DIS) was up 1.33% before the market's open after the company got the green light for a new studio to be build near Santa Clarita, CA.

  • Ford Motor (F) gained 0.76% in premarket trade as the company found momentum in Europe's recovery

Earnings

Notable companies expected to report earnings on Wednesday include:

  • Joy Global (JOY) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $1.36 on revenue of $1.18 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $1.82 on revenue of $1.39 billion.

  • Seadrill Limited (SDRL) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $0.61 on revenue of $1.15 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.73 on revenue of $1.12 billion.

  • Zale Corporation (ZLC) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.33 per share on revenue of $409.04 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.61 per share on revenue of $406.96 million.

Economics

On Wednesday, economic releases from the U.S. include crude oil inventories, weekly distillates stocks, gasoline inventories and pending home sales. From Europe we will see Italian retail sales, German consumer confidence data and eurozone private loans data. Also notable will be South Korea's current account data and New Zealand's business confidence.


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