December 5, 2013
Global stocks fall after Kerry speaks on Syria; bonds rise
Stocks fell and US Treasury prices gained after Secretary of State John Kerry made a forceful case for the United States to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he released evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons to attack civilians.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 37.79 points, or 0.25 percent, at 14,803.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 5.83 points, or 0.36 percent, at 1,632.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 30.44 points, or 0.84 percent, at 3,589.87.
European shares hit a six-week closing low as reduced chances of an immediate military strike on Syria weighed on energy equities due to weakened oil prices, although longer-term market outlook stayed bright.
The European oil and gas index fell 1.3 percent, mirroring a sharp drop in oil prices as concerns over supply disruptions in the Middle East eased after Britain said it would not join any military action against Syria.
Energy stocks put pressure on the wider market, with the FTSEurofirst index dropping 1 percent to 1,195.01, the lowest close since mid-July. Its 2.3 percent fall this week was the biggest since June.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average slipped on futures-led selling as speculative investors squared positions ahead of the weekend amid uncertainty over possible military action against Syria and ended both the week and the month lower.
The benchmark Nikkei shed 0.5 percent to 13,388.86, and the broader Topix dropped 0.9 percent to 1,106.05.
For the week, the Nikkei lost 2 percent and posted its first weekly fall in three weeks. The index also slid 2 percent in August, declining for a fourth month in a row.