Gulf bourses rocked by Iran-US tensions

Gulf bourses rocked by Iran-US tensions
Gulf bourses rocked by Iran-US tensions

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Gulf bourses rocked by Iran-US tensions in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi shares hit the lowest level since their market debut on Sunday, as Gulf bourses were hit by a panicky sell-off amid Iranian vows of retaliation over the US killing of a top general.

All seven bourses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states closed in the red, on the first trading day since the death of powerful military commander Qasem Soleimani.

All six member states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – are US allies and lie on the opposite side of the Gulf.

Some of the GCC members, notably Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, are home to major US military bases.

Kuwait's Boursa led the slide, shedding 3.7 percent as jitters gripped trading in the Gulf state which lies very close to Iran and is home to one of the largest US bases in the Middle East.

Dubai Financial Market, the Gulf stock exchange most exposed to global markets, slumped 3.1 percent while its sister bourse Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange dropped 1.4 percent.

Trading in the Gulf nations takes place from Sunday to Thursday and the bourses were closed on Friday when Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike in Baghdad.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul market, the largest in the region and one of the world's top 10, was trading 2.4 percent down with most shares in the red.

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest listed firm, shed 1.7 percent to trade at SR34.55 and its capitalization now stands at $1.84 trillion – well under the $2.0 trillion eyed.

Aramco had priced its landmark initial public offering at SR32 ($8.53) per share and it soared the maximum limit to SR35.2 on its December 11 market debut.

The decline in Gulf shares comes despite a surge in oil prices, on which all six GCC nations rely heavily for public revenues.

"It's certainly due to fears of a possible US-Iranian conflict breaking out in the Gulf," said Mohammed Zidan, market strategist at Thinkmarket in Dubai.

"I think the decline will continue for some time and especially as long as tensions and the threat of an armed conflict continue," Zidan told AFP.

Qatar Exchange dropped 2.1 percent – Doha maintains good relations with Iran but at the same time it houses the largest US airbase in the region.

The normally dormant bourse of Bahrain, home to the US Fifth fleet, fell 2.3 percent.

The small bourse of Oman dropped by just 0.3 percent. Muscat maintains strong ties with Iran and the United States and its oil exports do not have to pass through the strategic – and vulnerable – Strait of Hormuz. — AFP

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