World stocks fall while gold and bond prices rise as a plethora of headlines in the Middle East, United States and UK leave investors on tenterhooks and push them away from risky assets and towards safer ones. As David Pollard reports, oil prices also fell further below $50 a barrel.
They may be nodding - but sentiment on oil markets right now is if anything a big negative. Traders digesting a deep new rift between Qatar and other Arab oil states. Crude prices have slipped further below the key 50 dollar a barrel mark. And could see more downside - despite OPEC's recent deal to keep a lid on supplies. SOUNDBITE (English) IG SENIOR ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "It's been a sequence of lower lows and lower highs in terms of the price direction, and I think it's just a reflection of the fact that whatever the diplomatic spat is in the Middle East, it doesn't change the fact that the oil market is still going to deal with a much greater degree of oversupply for a much longer period than we thought." That spat driving Qatari share prices even lower on Tuesday after an eight per cent drop the day before. And feeding into sentiment for Europe's stocks - those negative in early trade. As was a dollar at a seven-month low. An election in Britain and Washington's own political worries pushing investors into German government bonds - and gold. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "In 2017, it's been such a strong safe haven. And with the dollar under pressure, we have seen that money really piling into gold and we're still seeing those movements to the upside on the gold price because of that downside in the U.S. dollar." Amongst the big losers: healthcare stocks on a four and half per cent drop in Roche. The Swiss firm disappointing investors with new findings for its Aphinity cancer treatment. The big winner: the euro - as markets eyed the possibility of hawkish signals from the ECB at its Thursday meeting.