FILE PHOTO: A maintenance worker sweeps the floor after the cling bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 31, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday as Iran fired missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of a top Iranian commander last week, sparking fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles on at least two Iraqi facilities hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel at about 2230 GMT on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.
The attack rattled global financial markets and sent investors scurrying for safe-haven assets, with S&P futures .EScv1 tumbling as much as 1.7% and the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield falling to a one-month low. Oil prices jumped about $3. [MKTS/GLOB]
Investors have been on edge since Friday when a U.S. drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, prompting a vow of harsh revenge from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But U.S. stock index futures were trading off session lows after Iranian officials said on Wednesday that their country did not want a war and its strikes “concluded” its response to the killing of Soleimani, whose burial was completed almost at the same time as the missile launches.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump said an assessment of casualties and damage from the strikes was under way and that he would make a statement on Wednesday morning.
At 12:47 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 184 points, or 0.65%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 11 points, or 0.34% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 42.5 points, or 0.48%.
Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur