January 3, 2020 / 8:11 AM / 14 days ago

European shares slide after U.S. air strike in Iraq

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Jan 3 (Reuters) - European shares slipped from near record-highs on Friday as geopolitical tensions flared after a U.S. air strike in Iraq killed a top Iranian commander.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.6% at 0803 GMT, with all the major country indexes well in the red.

Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, architect of the country’s spreading military influence in the Middle East, was killed in the air strike at Baghdad airport, prompting a vow of harsh revenge from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The report sent jitters through global financial markets, with Asian shares giving up early gains and U.S. stock index futures sliding about 1%. However, oil prices surged about 3%.

All but one European subsectors declined between 0.4% and 1.2%. Oil and gas stocks gained 0.4%. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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