Gulf stocks regain ground after early losses over Yemen
Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf launched air strikes overnight Wednesday on Shiite Houthi rebels
Stock markets in the Gulf states suffered early losses Thursday on fears over Saudi Arabia’s air strikes on Shiite rebels in Yemen but regained ground at the close.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index, the largest in the region, closed the day up 0.4 percent on 8,903.49 points, after diving at the start of trading when it shed 4.0 percent on Wednesday.
The Dubai Financial Market also tumbled over 6.0 percent at the opening but ended down just 0.8 percent at 3,407.25 points.
The slide came as a result of a massive sell-off over fears of a possible confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, analysts said.
“There has been a massive sell-off by investors because of fears the strikes may escalate into a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Mohammad Zidan, chief market strategist at Kuwait’s Orbex Brokerage, told AFP.
“Any fears about Iran normally strongly impact investors in the Gulf,” Zidan said.
Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf launched air strikes overnight Wednesday on Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Iran described the intervention as “a dangerous step” that violated “international responsibilities and national sovereignty”.
The United Arab Emirates’ second bourse in Abu Dhabi also dropped around 2.0 percent at the opening but finished Thursday, the last day of the Muslim week, marginally up 0.03 percent at 4,373.13 points.
The Qatar Exchange, the second largest in the Gulf, dived 3.5 percent at the opening but rebounded strongly to close down 0.8 percent on 11,410.76 points.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange improved slightly from the 2.6 percent loss in the morning to close 2.4 percent lower on 6,222.46 points.
The tiny Muscat Securities Market and Bahrain bourse dropped 2.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
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