Stock markets worldwide reacted to the news of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto negatively while oil prices rose to their highest in a month on fears of the country's economy being hit and the destabilise other nations. (See: Benazir Bhutto assassinated)
Asian stock markets went in to a decline after Wall Street ended down, while the Karachi Stock Exchange suspended trades for a three-day mourning period.
Analyst, however, feel that the assassination would have only a temporary impact on Asian stock markets, particularly the Pakistani Stock Markets, as foreign funds are expected to return to Asia after the Christmas vacation as a reaction to the expected slowdown of the US economy.
Indian shares opened marginally lower by 0.3 but the benchmark Sensex turned positive.
- The Nikkei average ended 256.91 points or 1.7 per cent lower
- Indexes in Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and New Zealand fell by up to 1.7 per cent
- The main index on the New York Stock Exchange fell 192 points or 1.4 per cent on Thursday while prices of safe-haven government bonds rose
- The dollar fell against the yen, euro and Swiss franc on heightened concerns about geopolitical risk
- Gold was at around $828, having hit a one-month high of $830.05 overnight as investors looked for safe assets
The assassination in Pakistan pushed up oil prices and with expectations of the prices rising further due to geopolitical instability. Light sweet crude rose to a high of $97.12 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 45 cents to $95.23.
(See: Benazir Bhutto's assassination may hurt Pakistan's ratings: S&P)