Gulf markets slide along with oil

A Kuwaiti traders follows the stock market at the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange (KSE) in Kuwait City on December 31, 2014. (File photo: AFP)

Gulf stock markets extended their decline in early trade on Monday after the price of Brent crude fell below $56 per barrel.

Brent futures hit a fresh 5-1/2-year low of $55.36 on Monday as worries about a surplus of global supplies amid weak demand continued to drag on oil markets.

Although Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Oman have already announced large state budgets, suggesting that lower oil revenues will not translate into spending cuts, crude prices continue to affect the sentiment of retail investors who dominate local markets.

Dubai’s index dropped 3.3 percent as all but a handful of stocks fell.

Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House (GFH) was one of the few gainers, surging 5.1 percent after the company said it had won a $11.5 million legal case pertaining to its investment in a Qatari firm.

A court in Bahrain has also dismissed a $13.8 million case filed against GFH by former chairman Essam Janahi, who resigned in 2013, it said in a separate statement.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.6 percent as Aldar Properties, the emirate’s biggest listed developer, dropped 4.4 percent.

Qatar’s bourse lost 1.9 percent in a broad sell-off, while Oman and Kuwait inched down 0.1 percent each.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
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