Aug. 28 - European stocks fell for the third straight session on Wednesday, as the prospect of an imminent military strike against Syria fuelled profit-taking on the 8% rally which has been seen since June. Ivor Bennett reports
Following the Asian slide, European stocks fell for a third straight session on Wednesday. The prospect of an imminent military attack on Syria is fuelling the sell-off. Robert Halver from Baader Bank says investors are wary of the knock-on effects. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF BAADER BANK'S CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "Markets are afraid that Syria's problems could spread like wildfire. We know it shares borders with Israel, Turkey, with Iraq. This is very dangerous and we also know that oil prices would then increase dramatically, this means markets would fall dramatically, oil prices would increase, gold and silver would increase as well as state bonds, so we are really hoping that it's only a war over two days." But oil prices are already on the rise. Brent Crude is at a 6 month high. US benchmark price has soared to its highest level in over two years. It's equities which have been most affected so far, with the FTSEurofirst300 falling 1.7% on Tuesday. Analysts expect the slide to continue, with any attack on Syria just the latest worry in an already nervous market. IDEAglobal's Mike Gallagher. SOUNDBITE (English) MIKE GALLAGHER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IDEAGLOBAL, SAYING: "I think in terms of the major equity markets we can fall another couple of percent in the next week or two. Thereafter, we might see a bit of a stabilisation before a sell-off later in the year because the Fed tapering does really mean an adverse head-wind in global asset markets." Media speculation is that any strikes on Syria could be launched from this British airbase in Cyprus. An option the Cypriot government hasn't ruled out.