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Economy

Markets Fall, Oil Prices Rise As Syria Spooks Investors

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Worldcrunch

LONDON — Oil prices have risen to a five-month high, stock share prices are falling, and demand for safe-haven assets has risen amid international fears about the Syrian crisis and the anticipation of U.S. and possibly European military intervention there, Reuters reports.

After U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said publicly that President Barack Obama was consulting with allies before deciding how to respond to the Aug. 21 chemical gas attack outside Damascus, U.S. stocks ended 0.4 percent lower Monday.

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New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Rahav Segev - Rahav Segev/ZUMA

The Guardian reports that Europe’s stock markets fell steadily Tuesday during the first two hours of trading, with the London FTSE 100 currently down almost 1%.

European shares were down 0.6 percent in early trading, and the major Asian markets all lost ground overnight. Tokyo's Nikkei closed at 0.69 percent lower, while the safe-haven yen rose broadly.

The Italian stock market, which is down 266 points, has suffered some of the most significant losses, mostly because of the instability triggered by Silvio Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction.

Reuters video :

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Economy

Why More Countries Are Banning Foreigners From Buying Real Estate

Canada has become the most recent country to impose restrictions on non-residents buying real estate, arguing that wealthy investors from other countries are pricing out would-be local homeowners. But is singling out foreigners the best way to face a troubled housing market?

Photo of someone walking by houses in Toronto

A person walks by a row of houses in Toronto

Shaun Lavelle, Riley Sparks, Ginevra Falciani

PARIS — It’s easy to forget that soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, many real estate experts were forecasting that housing prices could face a once-in-generation drop. The logic was that a shrinking pandemic economy would combine with people moving out of cities to push costs down in a lasting way.

Ultimately, in most places, the opposite has happened. Home prices in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand rose between 25% and 50% since the outbreak of COVID-19.

This explosion was driven by a number of factors, including low interest rates, supply chain issues in construction and shortages in available properties caused in part by investors buying up large swathes of housing stock.

Yet some see another culprit deserving of particular attention: foreign buyers.

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