Stock markets in the energy-rich Gulf states plunged today, following the massive rout in global shares as oil resumed its decline.
The fresh fall came a day after most Gulf bourses made a strong rebound as oil and world stocks saw important gains.
But all seven bourses in Gulf countries, which pump around 18 million barrels of oil a day, dropped today, led by Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index, the largest Arab bourse, dipped more than 4.0 per cent to fall below the key 5,500-point mark at mid-session.
The leading petrochemicals and banking sectors fell 5.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.
The Dubai Financial Market Index finished the day down 4.6 per cent to drop to 2,638.76 points, its lowest level for 30 months.
Leading shares Emaar properties and Arabtec construction plunged 5.2 per cent and 7.7 per cent.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange shed 3.1 per cent to drop below the 3,800-point level, pulled down by all sectors, especially the investment and financial services sector which plunged 9.3 per cent.
The Qatar Exchange, the second biggest Arab bourse, dropped 3.3 per cent to below 8,700 points and traded around levels seen in early 2013.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index closed down 1.95 per cent to drop below the key 5,000-point mark, a level last seen more than 12 years ago.
The small Muscat Securities Exchange lost 1.83 per cent and the tiny Bahrain bourse dropped 0.6 per cent.
All seven Gulf bourses remained well below last year’s close.
Asian and European markets suffered another rout today with the previous day’s China-fuelled rally wiped out by ongoing worries about plunging oil prices and the state of the world economy.
Oil prices were also trading at more than 12-year lows.
Today, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell to fresh lows of below USD 28, days after Brent also slipped below that level. In afternoon trade WTI was down 3.3 per cent at USD 27.52 and Brent was off 1.9 per cent at USD 28.22.
Crude has lost three quarters of its value since mid-2014.