LONDON (Reuters) - Gold and oil will extend their gains on Monday, albeit modestly, when markets open for the first time since Western powers launched a missile attack on Syria, but equities are unlikely to suffer big losses unless the West strikes again or Russia retaliates.
“The news flow is actually better than what it looked like at one point during last week as the strike was surgical, followed by a pullback. Reports show a lot of care was taken not to hit Russian targets, which is a good sign and the market should take heart from that,” said Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier investment managers in London.
Gold has benefited in recent days as a safe-haven asset amid a U.S.-China trade dispute and the escalating conflict in Syria, which also pushed oil above $70 per barrel due to concerns about a spike in Middle Eastern tensions.
World stocks wobbled last week but still ended with the best weekly gain in over a month, as investors await potentially healthy U.S. company earnings.
Despite heightened geopolitical risks, the impact on so-called safe-haven assets has been short-lived and modest. While the yen rose initially on fears of a Syrian strike, it ended near seven-week lows to the dollar last week.
On Saturday, U.S., French and British missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack a week ago, although the assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the seven-year-old civil war.
For map of Syrian strikes, see tmsnrt.rs/2EKgAMN
The bombing, denounced by Damascus and its