04/07/2017 07:37 EDT | Updated 04/08/2018 01:12 EDT

Gold up sharply but stock markets little-changed since U.S. attack on Syria

TORONTO — North American stock markets edged lower in late-morning trading, but gold was up following the U.S. cruise missile strike on Syria.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 24.83 points to 15,672.35, after 90 minutes of trading.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.83 points at 20,661.12. The S&P 500 index shed 0.83 of a point to 2,356.66, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 4.25 points to 5,874.70.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.70 cents US, up a 0.17 of a cent from Thursday.

Market observers suggested that reaction to the U.S. attack on Syria was limited because traders didn't expect the military intervention would escalate.

However, the benchmark gold contract hit a 2017 high of US$1.271.50 an ounce overnight — up US$18.20 from the close Thursday — before giving back some of its gains. Similarly, the crude contract was near a one-month high.

In late-morning trading, the June gold contract was up $14.50 at US$1,267.80 an ounce.

The May crude oil contract climbed 45 cents at US$52.15 per barrel and May natural gas contracts fell six cents at US$3.27 per mmBTU. May copper contracts lost two cents at US$2.64 a pound.