Last updated: 13 December, 2015

Gulf stocks dive to multi-year lows on oil slump

Share prices in the energy-rich Gulf states tumbled to multi-year lows on Sunday after oil prices closed the week below $38 a barrel, the lowest in seven years.

The slide was led by markets in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which plunged below key resistance points amid a sell-off by concerned investors.

Crude prices nosedived Friday, with Brent dropping 4.5 percent to $37.93 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate losing 3.1 percent to $35.62 a barrel.

Gulf states, which pump over 18 million barrels of oil per day, heavily depend on crude income for public revenues.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) dropped 2.65 percent to 6,764.60 points, its lowest close since November 2012. It has lost 18.8 percent since the start of the year.

TASI, the largest Arab bourse, slid lower during the day but recovered before closing.

The Dubai Financial Market Index dipped 2.1 percent to finish on 2,882.80 points, a two-year low. The index has dropped 23.6 percent since the start of the year.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange also lost 2.1 percent to close barely above the 4,000-point mark. It is currently trading 12 percent lower than at last year’s finish.

Qatar Exchange, the second largest Arab bourse, shed 3.7 percent to close at 9,643.65 points, the lowest level since September 2013. It has shed 21.5 percent compared with last year.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange dropped 0.93 percent to 5,633.28 points, a three-year low. It has lost 13.8 percent on the year.

Muscat Securities Exchange slid 0.66 percent to 5,414.99 points, a 12-month low, while the tiny Bahrain Stock Exchange dropped slightly.

Gulf private companies are feeling the heat from government measures to cut capital spending on which they heavily rely.

The decline in Gulf markets followed a global shares rout on Friday due to low oil prices.