The latest announcement from the United Kingdom and the US! The global market experienced a huge shock, and 10,000 people instantly burst out of positions

Securities Times ·  Apr 19 13:24

Just now, the tension in the Middle East has escalated!

This morning, Beijing time, news of Israel's attack on Iran caused global assets to “go viral,” and stock markets such as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam, which are currently trading, fall rapidly. US stock futures also dived sharply. Nasdaq 100 futures fell more than 2%, S&P 500 futures fell 1.5%, and Dow futures fell more than 1%.

Bitcoin also plummeted again, falling below 60,000 US dollars/coin in the intraday period, with an intraday decline of more than 5%. Ethereum fell below 2,900 US dollars/coin, falling 5.39% during the day. Within 1 hour, the virtual currency market liquidated more than 7 million US dollars, and the number of liquidated positions exceeded 10,000, mainly due to multiple liquidations. Within 24 hours, more than 80,000 people closed their positions, and the total amount of liquidated positions exceeded 240 million US dollars.

Safe-haven assets such as the dollar, gold, and oil soared. The increase in the US dollar index once extended to 0.5%, and spot gold once stood at 2,410 US dollars/ounce; international oil prices soared, Brent crude oil surged above 90 US dollars/barrel, an increase of 3.7%, and WTI crude oil once surged 4%.

Israel attacks multiple targets in Iran

In the early morning of April 19, explosions were heard in Isfahan in central Iran, Suwayda province in southern Syria, and the Baghdad region and Babylon province in Iraq. Also, according to US media reports, the Israeli military launched military attacks on 7 targets in Iran.

Subsequently, Iran's Fars News Agency reported that an explosion was heard in the Kajavaristan region of Isfahan province in central Iran. The location where the explosion occurred was close to Isfahan International Airport and the Iranian Air Force base. The media quoted sources as reporting that three explosions were heard near a military base in northwestern Iran's Isfahan. The air defense system had already started to intercept the target; the target was probably a drone. According to reports, the radar may have been one of the targets of the attack. Iranian officials recently stated that the explosions heard in Isfahan were the result of the activation of Iran's air defense system.

According to the latest news from Iran's national television station, the source of explosions currently being heard in many parts of Iran is that Iran's air defense system intercepts suspected drone targets. The nuclear facilities in Isfahan province are currently in safe condition.

The flight tracking website Flight Radar 24 shows that on the morning of the 19th local time, at least 8 flights were rerouted over Iran. On the same day, Iran's Tehran Khomeini International Airport announced the cancellation of flights before 10:30 a.m. Iran's aviation department announced that flights from several airports in Mehrabad, Isfahan, Shiraz and other places will also be suspended.

According to a NBC report on the 19th, regarding Israel's attack on targets in Iran, a person familiar with the matter said that Israel notified the US side in advance, but the US side did not participate in Israel's current operation.

The attack occurred after Israel vowed to respond to Iran's drone and missile attacks on the night of the 13th. Earlier, on April 1, the consular building of the Iranian Embassy in Syria was attacked by an Israeli missile, killing at least 13 people. Mohammed Reza Zahdi, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran responsible for operations in Syria and Lebanon, was killed. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran issued a statement in the early morning of the 14th announcing the launch of dozens of missiles and drones at Israeli targets, saying the move was in response to Israel's April 1 attack on the consular department of the Iranian Embassy in Syria.

A huge shock in the global market

The news of Israel's attack on Iran caused huge fluctuations in global capital markets. At the time of press release, the Nikkei 225 index's decline had widened to 3.3%, and the index had fallen 10% from its March high. The Korea Composite Index fell 2.87%, while Thailand's SET Index, the Philippine Manila Index, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Index, and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index all fell by more than 1%. The MSCI Asia Emerging Markets Index once plummeted by nearly 2.8%, but is now down 2.25%.

US stock futures also dived sharply in the intraday period. NASDAQ 100 futures once fell more than 2%, S&P 500 futures fell 1.5%, and Dow futures fell more than 1%. At press time, the decline had narrowed, with Nasdaq 100 futures down 1.32%, S&P 500 futures down 1.05%, and Dow futures down 0.93%.

Safe-haven assets such as the dollar, gold, and oil soared intraday. The US dollar index once jumped 0.5%; spot gold stood at 2,410 US dollars/ounce during the intraday period, rising 1.4%; Brent crude oil surpassed 90 US dollars/barrel and once reached 3.7%; WTI crude oil once rose more than 4% to break through 85 US dollars/barrel. Currently, Brent crude oil and WTI crude oil are still rising by more than 3%.

In the A-share market this morning, the oil sector strengthened sharply. Many stocks such as Becken Energy, Heshun Petroleum, Quanyou Shares, and Potential Hengxin rose to a standstill. CNOOC rose more than 5%, and CNPC rose more than 3%. The shipping sector also boosted. Air China COSCO rose more than 12%, Phoenix Shipping rose and stopped, China Southern Oil rose more than 8%, COSCO HNA, Ningbo COSCO, etc. rose more than 7%, and Shenghang shares rose more than 5%.

Targeting Iran's nuclear facilities?

According to CCTV4 reports, after Iran launched a retaliatory air strike against Israel, how Israel will make a “strong response” has become one of the international community's top concerns. Netanyahu stressed on the 17th that Israel has a “right to self-defense.” Outsiders are worried that Iran's nuclear facilities may become targets of attack by the Israeli military.

Also, according to an American Broadcasting Corporation report on the 17th, several Israeli sources said that Israel was preparing to launch an attack on Iran for at least two nights this week, but the operation was later cancelled. The report said that since Iran launched an attack on Israel, Israel has been weighing how and when to respond to this. A range of options were presented to Israel's wartime cabinet. Israeli military spokesman Hagari said on the 16th local time that Israel will not be “indifferent” after being attacked by Iran, nor can Iran “escape punishment.”

Israel previously warned that it would retaliate against Iran's nuclear facilities after being attacked by Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Grossi also expressed “concern that Iran's nuclear facilities may be targeted by Israel.”

Germany's “Le Monde” revealed that Iran has 25 to 30 facilities used entirely or mainly for nuclear programs. Six of these are Tier 1 targets: a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, a converter in Isfahan, a heavy water reactor in Arak, a weapons and ammunition production facility in Parchin, a uranium enrichment facility in Fordau, and a light water reactor in Bushehr. Among them, conversion devices in Isfahan, weapons and ammunition production facilities in Parchin, light water reactors in Bushehr, and heavy water reactors in Arak are mainly ground facilities, which are relatively easy to be destroyed by air raids.

What is actually viewed by Israel as a “nail in the eye” with the intention of “completely erasing it from the Earth” is the uranium enrichment facilities at Fordow and Natanz. The thousands of centrifuges deployed here are considered essential equipment for Iran to obtain weapons-grade nuclear materials. However, it is alleged that the production workshop at the Natanz nuclear facility is located in two halls 8 meters deep underground, and the top of the hall is also reinforced with reinforced concrete several meters thick; while the Fordow nuclear facility is located 90 meters deep underground, making it difficult to be destroyed by air raids. It is worth mentioning that starting in 2016, the S-300 long-range air defense system imported by Iran from Russia was also deployed near the Fordau nuclear facility.

A former Israeli air force commander confessed in an interview with British media that attacking Iran's nuclear facilities was an option for Israel, but this move was also quite difficult because Iran's nuclear facilities are numerous and scattered.

However, the latest news shows that Israel's attack on Iran in the early morning of April 19 probably did not target nuclear facilities. According to the “Times of Israel”, citing CNN, a senior US official said that Israel had told the US that its attacks did not target Iran's nuclear facilities.

The United Kingdom and the US announced sanctions against Iran

According to Xinhua News Agency, the British and US governments issued separate statements on the 18th announcing the imposition of sanctions on a number of individuals and entities in Iran in response to Iran's recent retaliatory attacks against Israel.

The British government said in a statement that Britain has imposed sanctions on 7 individuals and 6 entities in Iran. The sanctions are a package of measures coordinated with the US to further increase sanctions against key players in Iran's drone and missile industry and “limit Iran's ability to destabilize the region.” The sanctions include imposing travel bans and asset freezes on relevant individuals and asset freezes on related entities.

On the same day, the US Treasury Department issued a statement saying that the US government announced sanctions against 16 individuals and 2 entities involved in Iran's drone project, 5 companies involved in Iran's steel industry, and an Iranian car company, and adopted new export control measures against Iran.

US President Joe Biden issued a statement on the same day saying that the purpose of this round of sanctions is to hold Iran responsible for the recent attacks on Israel. The targets of the sanctions include leaders and entities linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, Iran's Ministry of Defense, and the Iranian government's missile and drone projects.


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