In the wake of the massive earthquake in Japan, markets worldwide took a hit to the commodity and equity markets. Oil prices declined by $3 a barrel and U. S. crude prices falling below $100. The downfall is not expected to deeply decline due to the major cities and manufacturing companies were not affected by the earthquake.
Authorities are still assessing the damage caused by the quake that killed hundreds of people and the missing are still unaccounted for. Analysts who are reviewing the images taken of the devastation did not suggest that a major economic and financial disaster occurred at this time.
"The earthquake is clearly risk-negative, and you have seen continuation of selling that has been going on all week. But there are plenty of other things to make the world unhappy," said Nick Moore, RBS global head of commodity and strategy.
Shares in the European markets dropped to an, already, three month low. Losses in the U. S. stocks were only limited due to data from the U. S. Commerce Department, which focused on strong consumer spending and accelerated growth measured in the first quarter. Sales in retail rose 1.0 percent as American shoppers purchased autos, clothing, and other goods as the price of gas still rose.
"You have huge global macro events happening and everybody is focused on these events. You have had almost this perfect storm over the past two days," said Cort Gwon, chief strategist at HudsonView Capital Management in New York.
Gold prices remained stable due to 'safe-haven' gold purchases as a result of the recent mid-east crisis.
Image credit: 2010StockExchange