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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

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

Brian Deese (L) in 2015 with special envoy for climate change Todd Stern (C) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Financial regulation is not exactly simple anywhere in the world. But one country stands out for the sheer amount of complexity and confusion in its regulatory regime — the U.S.

Why it matters: Important companies fall through the cracks, largely unregulated, while others contend with a vast array of regulatory bodies, none of which are remotely predictable.

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Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.