Gulf markets plunge for second day in row following oil price plummet

Emirati traders follow the stock market activity at the Dubai Financial Market. (File photo: AFP)

Gulf stock markets fell for the second consecutive day following a dramatic plunge in oil prices; that saw futures in the commodity fall their furthest in a single day since 1991.

The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) fell 9.2% at the opening bell. Meanwhile, Dubai’s headline index dropped over 8% led by banking and real estate. This is with Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar both leading the drop falling at or near their maximum 10% value decrease.

Abu Dhabi’s main index also fell by more than 7 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank falling near their maximum 10 percent share price decrease.

The Kuwaiti bourse suspended trading in its premier market after the index fell 10 percent, triggering a full-day trading suspension, for the second day in a row.

Oil prices suffered a dramatic collapse in early trading on Monday after talks between OPEC members and Russia fell apart, leading to the opening salvo in a price war.

Gulf economies, all of which have been reliant on oil revenues for a substantial portion of their budgets are to suffer.

Brent crude fell over 25% to around $33 per barrel. While North America’s WTI crude dropped to around $29 per barrel. This is the worst day of trading for both futures contracts since 1991. Global stocks have also fallen sharply as panicked investors flee equities for safe havens.