Asia stocks sink on Syria concerns, oil surges
BANGKOK (AP) - The growing likelihood of Western military action against Syria pummeled Asian stock markets on Wednesday and sent the price of oil soaring.
Fears that the US, Britain and other countries are gearing up to confront Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians rose after Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US military stands ready to strike against Syria if President Barack Obama gives the order.
"Investors are sort of battening down the hatches a bit. I get the sense that this looks like a situation that is likely to be with us for a while," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
"One reason the market has started to fall is that people are thinking this may not be a one-off blip that will only last a week. The stakes have been raised by the use of chemical weapons," he said.