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Protesters have taken to the streets all over the world to object to U.S. actions, including this rally in front of the U.S. embassy in Manila. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images

The price of gold hit its highest in nearly seven years, oil hit a four-month peak and stocks were in the red across Asia and Europe, with Gulf stocks from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia down and S&P futures lower, as tensions between the U.S. and Iran ratcheted up over the weekend.

What happened: President Trump warned in a tweet that if Iran retaliated for the killing of General Qasem Soleimani last week it would face "very hard and very fast" attacks on 52 targets.

  • His threat followed one from Iranian leadership that the U.S. would face "severe retaliation" and a decision by Iraq's parliament asking U.S. and other foreign troops to leave the country after Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad.
  • Perhaps most notably, Iran said it would no longer restrict its uranium enrichment, increasing the threat it could develop a nuclear weapon.

Of note: Safe-haven assets like U.S. Treasuries and the Japanese yen also saw buying, with the dollar touching its weakest in three months against the yen.

Yes, but: While the war of words has many on edge and fearing the worst, for financial markets much of the reaction seen since Friday's airstrike will be short-lived, if history is a guide.

  • A hedge-fund analysis from Kensho cited by CNBC found that crude prices see a positive change more than 80% of the time in the month following major Middle East crisis events, along with a temporary bump for gold, with stocks as the next most successful short-term asset classes.
  • Over a three-month horizon, data show that stocks and oil continue to rise, while safe-haven assets like Treasuries fall and gold is flat.

What to watch: The attack on Soleimani and coming fallout will most acutely impact the oil market, analysts say.

  • “The risk of further escalation has clearly gone up — given the direct attack on Iran, Iran’s threat of retaliation and Trump’s desire to look tough — posing the threat of higher oil prices,” Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital, told Reuters.
  • “Historically, though, oil prices need to double to pose a severe threat to global growth and we are long way from that.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

45 mins ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

Stuck jet stream brings blowtorch December in Lower 48, frigid Alaska

Short-term climate outlook for Dec. 13-19, 2021, from the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA. (NOAA/CPC)

The Lower 48 states have seen record-shattering warmth so far this December, with temperatures running as high as 35°F above average for this time of year. The warmth has been so pronounced that during the weekend, brush fires broke out in a snowless, unusually mild Denver metro area.

The big picture: The jet stream, which is a river of air that rides at about 30,000 feet along the temperature contrast between air masses, steering storms as it goes, has been stuck in a position well north of the continental U.S., keeping storms and cold weather at bay.