Arabian Gulf stocks dive as coronavirus, oil price war impact deepens

The Kuwaiti stock exchange. (File photo: Reuters)

Gulf stock markets fell on Monday morning in line with falling oil prices and as markets reacted to the continued spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Abu Dhabi’s headline index fell 7.8 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank and telecoms firm Etisalat leading the drop. Dubai closed down 6.14 percent, with banks Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD, along with developer Emaar, all seeing significant falls.

The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) fell 5.2 percent, while the Kuwaiti bourse closed 5 percent down.

Major stimulus packages announced in both the UAE ($27.2 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($13.3 billion) did not slow the markets slide.

Following the decision by the US Federal Reserve on Sunday night to cut interest rates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE followed suit and cut base lending rates.

The coronavirus has had a considerable impact on markets and lifestyle in the Gulf with authorities closing borders and public spaces.

Bahrain became the first Gulf country to report a death from the coronavirus on Monday. Nearly 1,000 cases of the virus have been recorded across the region so far.

Last Update: Monday, 16 March 2020 KSA 19:03 - GMT 16:03