Most Gulf markets down as oil slump weighs on petrochemicals, financials

Most Gulf markets were weak in early trade on Sunday, hurt by a sharp drop in oil prices which also rattled global stocks last week. The slide was led by losses in petrochemical and financial stocks.

Saudi Arabia’s index shed 0.9 percent as banks and petrochemical shares weighed on the market. Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries was down almost 1 percent, Saudi British Bank fell 1.2 percent and Al Rajhi Bank was down 1.1 percent.

Saudi insurance firm Mediterranean and Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance (MedGulf) was also down 1.7 percent despite reporting a 70 percent rise in third-quarter net profit.

Abu Dhabi stocks fell 0.2 percent, as Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) slumped 3.6 percent as weak oil prices eclipsed strong third-quarter earnings last week.

Oil prices fell nearly 1 percent on Friday as global supply increased and investors worried demand growth could slow, sending U.S. crude to its longest stretch of daily declines since 1984.

The Qatar index, which has been the best performing market in the Gulf this year, was down 0.2 percent, hurt by a one percent drop in Qatar National Bank.

A 3.6 percent drop in courier service Aramex weighed on the Dubai index, which was down 0.3 percent in early trade.

Source: Reuters