Gulf States Equity Markets Plunge After Iranian Sanctions Lifted
by Stephen Lendman
Rogue Gulf States Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE are implacable Iranian enemies – notorious for horrific human rights abuses, along with supporting ISIS and other takfiri terrorist groups.
On Sunday, their equity markets plunged following international sanctions on Iran lifted, as well as oil prices continuing to fall.
Iran able to sell more oil contributes to over-supply in the face of weakening demand. Global economic conditions are precarious at best.
Oil contributes over 80% to Saudi and other Gulf states’ revenues. Prices plunged from their all-time high over $147 a barrel to below $30 today.
Indications are they’re heading lower. Higher Iranian production adds to global over-supply. Panic selling sent Gulf States indices to multi-year lows – all seven bourses affected following 2015 declines.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI), the largest Arab market, plunged 5.44% Sunday, recovering slightly from an interday 7.2% free-fall.
It closed near a five-year low – down 20.1% since January 1 following 2015 losses. Investment strategist Mark Burgess said low prices pressured Riyadh to “hemmorrhag(e)” cash, depleting “its reserves quite quickly.”
The Qatar Exchange plunged 7.2%, hitting its lowest level since April 2013. Equity prices are down 18% this year on top of a 15% decline last year.
Opening Dubai Financial Market prices gapped down 6%, closing 4.64% lower, a three-year low. Its equity market is down 15% this year.
Kuwait dropped 3.2%. Oman’s market is small. It dropped 3.2%. Tiny Bahrain equities fell a slight 0.4%. Egypt and other regional markets closed lower.
Since January 1, seven Gulf bourses shed over $130 billion of market capitalization. It’s currently at $800 heading south.
In contrast, Iran’s Bourse index soared a record 1,400 points on Sunday, signaling improved economic growth prospects.
Institutional equities strategist Nayal Khan said increased Iranian oil “will come to the market as early as” Sunday or Monday, pressuring prices.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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