Crude spikes, dollar slightly weaker as US fires dozens of missiles at targets in Syria

*Crude spikes, dollar slightly weaker as US fires dozens of missiles at targets in Syria*

Crude prices spiked, the dollar weakened slightly and markets fell in Asia on Friday and stock futures in the U.S. turned negative after the U.S. fired dozens of cruise missiles into Syria.

The missile strikes happened as President Donald Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

A U.S. military official told NBC that 59 tomahawks had been fired, which hit an airfield near Homs. The missiles hit aircraft and infrastructure including the runway, NBC reported. There is no word on casualties yet, but no people were targeted, the official told NBC.

In a statement, Trump said he had called for the military strike in response to a chemical attack in a rebel-held area in northern Syria. The strike also comes after Trump had said earlier in the day that “something should happen” with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following the attack that had killed at least 70 people.

The dollar index traded at 100.550, after recording a three-week high at 100.77 earlier in the morning. On the energy front, Brent crude futures rose 1.6 percent at $55.77 a barrel while U.S. crude added 1.72 percent to settle at $52.58.

“Oil prices have naturally reacted to the U.S. bombings of Syria. It is their wont to rally on news like this, but they have always fallen back,” said John Kilduff, founding partner of Again Capital.

“The fact is that oil infrastructure is rarely damaged, and the petrodollars are the spoils of war — neither side wants to kill the ‘petro-goose.’ If anything, this airstrike sets back ISIS and makes Middle East oil supplies more secure, not less,” Kilduff said.

U.S. futures fell after the news with Dow Jones futures down nearly 100 points and S&P 500 futures off around 13 points, while Nasdaq futures eased almost 28 points. The U.S. 10-year yield hit a low of 2.289 percent, the lowest level since Nov. 22 when the 10-year yielded as low as 2.287 percent.

*MEDIA PICKS*

*==HOME FRONT==*

* Shiv Sena members heckle aviation minister, say MP be allowed to fly (var)

* Congress reaches out to CPI for anti-BJP alliance (ET)

* Probe agency files case vs former Haryana CM in land allotment case (IE)

* SC reserves order on charges against BJP leaders in Babri Masjid case (IE)

* Shunglu panel report indicts Kejriwal govt for abuse of power (IE)

* Jayalalithaa’s ‘coffin’ used as campaign prop by Panneerselvam (NDTV)

* PM Modi says development only mantra to change lives for better (PTI)

* Woman journalist attacked in Delhi park (ToI)

* Flood-like situation in J&K, Jhelum above danger mark in Srinagar (ZEE)

* Avalanche buries army post in Ladakh, 2 soldiers rescued, 3 missing (NDTV)

* Swaraj hopeful of permanent member spot in UN Security Council (PTI)

*==FOREIGN AFFAIRS==*

* Postmortems confirm chemical attack on Syria, says Turkey (The Guardian)

* Chinese media says Beijing should answer India “blows with blows” (ToI)

* Philippines President Duterte orders troops to South China Sea reefs (AFP)

* Devin Nunes to step down from US House Russia probe (FT)

* US President Trump drops Steve Bannon from National Security Council (RTR)

* Nikki Haley gets heckled at Global Women Summit in New York (NDTV)

* Myanmar leader Suu Kyi denies ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims (AFP)

* Explosion at St Petersburg building, no one injured (RTR)

* Islamic State group kills 33 men in Syria (AP)

* Thai king endorses new military-backed constitution (AP)

*==BUSINESS AND ECONOMY==*

*INDIA-RELATED*

* RBI leaves repo rate unchanged at 6.25% (Cogencis)

* Reverse repo adjusts to 6% as LAF corridor narrowed (Cogencis)

* RBI says FY18 CPI outlook challenging due to broad-based pressures(Cogencis)

* RBI says demonetisation effect on growth short-lived, modest (Cogencis)

* Parliament OKs GST bills; Rajya Sabha junks Opposition amendments (Cogencis)

* HUL job cuts, extent of layoffs could be between 10% and 15% (ET)

* State-run oil companies plan to review fuel rates daily (ET)

* Australia likely to start supplying uranium to India from this year (ET)

* Government unlikely to challenge Supreme Court liquor ban (BS)

* RBI allows banks to invest in REITs, InvITs (Cogencis)

* RBI sees inflation averaging 4.5% in Apr-Sep, 5% in Oct-Mar (Cogencis)

* RBI Patel says farm debt waiver undermines honest credit culture (Cogencis)

* India services PMI improves to 51.5 in Mar from 50.3 Feb (Cogencis)

* Govt extends deadline to link bank accounts to PAN to Jun 30 (Cogencis)

* Source says govt plans to divest at least 5% in Coal India by Aug (Cogencis)

* Oil minister says expect roadmap on oil PSUs integration in FY18 (Cogencis)

* Apax Partners to set aside $1 bln to bet on PM Modi’s reforms (ET)

* Coal secy says aim to give all local coking coal to steel cos 2020(Cogencis)

* Dealers say cement cos up prices by 15-20 rupee/50 kg in Delhi-NCR(Cogencis)

* BSNL earmarks 43-bln rupee capex for FY18, plans 75,000 WiFi sites (ET)

* Dealers say cement price up 15-25 rupee in Bengal, Odisha, Bihar (Cogencis)

* HUL’s parent co Unilever announces share buyback worth 5 bln euros(Cogencis)

* ReNew Power plans IPO to raise up to $600 mln (ET)

* Idea offers 10 GB data for 100 rupees for postpaid users for 3 mos(Cogencis)

* USDA pegs India Aug to Jul 2018 cotton crop 35.9 mln bales, up 4% (Cogencis)

* Official says no rain-related damage to wheat crop in north India (Cogencis)

* HPCL, Rajasthan agree on fincl plan for project (Cogencis)

* SEBI survey shows bk deposits top choice for India retail investors(Cogencis)

* Saudi Aramco interested in buying shr in PSU mega refinery project(Cogencis)

* RJio to withdraw 3-month free ‘Summer Surprise’ offer on TRAI push(Cogencis)

* TRAI says new quality norms for cellular services soon (PTI)

* Toyota says to recall 23,157 cars in India over Takata airbag issue (RTR)

* Will auction Aamby Valley if money not deposited, SC tells Sahara (PTI)

* Toyota recalls 23,157 units of Corolla Altis in India (PTI)

* Jet introducing 15-20% variable pay for senior management (BS)

* ADB scales down India’s FY18 growth estimate to 7.4% (BS)

* Maruti Suzuki MD says entry of new players will help co emerge stronger (BS)

* Google.org offers grants worth $8.4 mln to four NGOs in India (PTI)

*FROM OVERSEAS*

* US weekly jobless claims fall by 25,000 in week ended Apr 1 (RTR)

* JP Morgan CEO Dimon says US exceptional, but ‘something is wrong’ (WP)

* BP cuts CEO’s pay package after shareholder backlash (RTR)

* Unilever restructures after failed Kraft bid (FT)

* Huawei defeats Samsung in patent battle (BBC)

* Iran struggles to expand oil exports as sea storage cleared (RTR)

* 7-Eleven operator to buy US stores from Sunoco for $3.3 bln (RTR)

* Amazon says it will hire 30,000 part-time workers over next year (USA Today)

* Ford to launch plug-in car in China next year, electrify most by 2025 (ET)

* Over 8,000 Uber and Lyft drivers fail Massachusetts background check (var)

* Global air travel demand up in Feb, despite US travel restrictions (ET)

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