Asian equities tumble, oil extends gains on Middle East worries | National

Asian stocks tumbled Friday and oil extended the previous day’s surge on worries that Israel’s war with Hamas could widen to a regional conflict with Iran as both sides ratcheted up tensions.

The threat of regional war compounded fears that the Federal Reserve would not cut interest rates as much as previously expected, with focus now on the release of key US jobs data later in the day.

The sell-off followed a plunge across the board on Wall Street that observers said could also be partially blamed on profit-taking from a months-long rally that has seen several indexes hit multiple records this year.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

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