Defense stocks in Asia surged on Wednesday — some by more than 20% — after Iran attacked multiple bases housing American troops in Iraq.
In South Korea, weapons manufacturer Victek spiked as high as 26% in the morning, while Hanil Forging Industrial jumped more than 21%. Speco, which makes military products, spiked 18%.
Japan's Ishikawa Seisakusho, which manufactures land mines, soared around 24%. Tokyo Keiki, which produces navigation systems for military use, was up more than 13%. Both stocks are trading at a new 52-week high on Wednesday. Howa Machinery, which supplies rifles and mortars, was up around 16%.
In China, shares of its military-related companies rose by the daily maximum limit of 10%. They included Anhui Great Wall Military Industry, Linzhou Heavy Machinery Group, Tianjin Motor Dies and Aerospace CH UAV.
The share movements came on the back of news that Iran had launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two Iraqi military bases at Al-Assad and Irbil that host American troops, according to Pentagon officials on Tuesday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted after the attack that "we do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."
The retaliatory move was in response to the U.S. killing of Iran's top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, last week which sent tensions between U.S. and Iran soaring.