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Saudi stocks lead Gulf bourses down after oil slump

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(FILES) A file photo taken on December 12, 2019 shows a man watching the exchange board at the Stock Exchange Market (Tadawul) bourse in the Saudi capital Riyadh. – The Saudi stock market opened down 2.1 percent on April 21, 2020 leading a dip on Gulf markets after US oil prices slumped to historic lows. The Dubai Financial Market also dropped, by 2.6 percent, after oil traded in negative territory. All the Gulf states depend on oil income for most of their public revenues. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

The Saudi stock market led Gulf bourses down on Tuesday, a day after US oil prices slumped to historic lows over sluggish demand, a supply glut and a lack of storage.

The Saudi Tadawul stock market, the largest in the Arab world, dropped 2.1 percent at the start of trading before recovering some of the losses. Less than an hour after opening it was trading down 0.9 percent.

Energy giant Saudi Aramco was 1.3 percent lower, well below its listing price.

The Dubai Financial Market dropped by 2.3 percent, while its sister bourse in Abu Dhabi was down 2.1 percent. Qatar bourse dropped 0.7 percent.

In Kuwait, the Premier index slumped 1.3 percent while the All-Shares index was down 1.0 percent.

The small Muscat bourse dipped 0.9 percent while Bahrain stocks were flat.

US crude prices made a partial recovery on Tuesday after trading at historic lows, diving below zero the previous day for the first time due to paralysed demand and a glut that overwhelmed storage facilities.

On Tuesday West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was trading at -$4.72 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, dropped 10 percent to $22.90 a barrel.

All the Gulf states depend on oil income for most of their public revenues.

The International Monetary Fund last week projected the six Gulf states along with oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa will lose more around $230 billion in oil revenues after oil prices dropped by more than 60 percent this year.

The global lender also forecast that economies of the Gulf states will shrink by 2.7 percent, their worst performance in several decades.


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