Middle East stock markets plummet

The Tadawul All-Shares Index in Riyadh, the Gulf’s leading market, shed 549.51 points or 6.86 per cent to close at 7,463.32 points.


Dubai’s stock market suffered its biggest one-day fall since last December on Sunday as bourses across the Gulf tumbled, hit by further weakness in oil prices and the decision by Fitch Ratings to cut its outlook for Saudi Arabia’s debt.

The Dubai Financial Market fell nearly seven per cent to 3,451.48 points, while the Saudi exchange was also down seven per cent to 7,441.33 points.

Abu Dhabi’s headline index opened around 1.5 per cent lower.

Sunday was the first day of trading in the Middle East after Brent crude, a benchmark for worldwide oil, fell more than a dollar to close Friday at $45.46 while the price of U.S. crude closed at $40.45. And a potential slowdown in Chinese demand for commodities dragged oil prices lower amid increasing consensus that cheap crude is here to stay.

The tumble in the Saudi stock also comes after the Fitch ratings agency revised its outlook for the country from “stable” to “negative” in its foreign and local currency issuer default rating.

But investors are concerned that a further plunge in the Saudi stock market and slowing growth there could have an impact on asset prices around the region.

On Dubai’s main index, Dubai Investments and investment developer Union Properties lost 10 percent.


Real estate developer Emaar Properties lost 8.31 percent while builder Arabtec Construction, another market leader, dropped 9.6 percent, nearing its 10-percent daily limit.

Dubai Financial Market