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Equity markets are jittery after the 'red menace' gave its support for the Syrian regime if it does come to war. Before the G20 summit, President Obama had just the one country to deal with, but Vladimir Putin has now snookered him by giving his support for the Assad government should a military invasion occur. The US is keen to bring stability to the region, but now Washington will have to smooth things over with Moscow before stepping foot on Syrian soil, and this adds even more uncertainty to the situation.
Across the pond, the Dow Jones is up 20 points at 14,957 as markets recover from the unexpected drop in the US unemployment level, despite the payrolls figure being softer than expected. Non-farm Friday is usually volatile as dealers are often distracted by the headline figure, when in fact the revisions and the unemployment rate are often given more weight once the dust settles. As the unemployment rate has ticked down by 0.1% we are edging closer to the beginning of QE tapering from the Federal Reserve.
Oil and gold are higher as investors fear the worst: heightened tension surrounding Syria has driven the price of oil higher as supply levels may fall in the future, while the precious metal is in demand due to QE tapering fears.
The US dollar has lost ground versus most major currencies, with forex dealers taking the view that the soft payroll figures and large downward revision of last month's number are signs that QE is here to stay.