Gulf stock markets fell sharply in early trade on Sunday in response to the global market turmoil caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Dubai’s index was down 4.6 per cent after 10 minutes to 3,211 points, near technical support on the May low of 3,197 points.
Speculative stocks favoured by local retail investors were hit hardest, with Arabtec losing 6.4 per cent. Blue chips such as Emaar Properties, down 3.5 per cent, fared relatively well.
Abu Dhabi’s index sank 3.3 per cent with Dana Gas, the most heavily traded stock, plunging 5.4 per cent.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s stock market also fell sharply at the opening on Sunday, but blue chips held up relatively well and the biggest losses were in smaller speculative stocks favoured by local retail investors.
The main index was down 3.7 per cent after five minutes of trade. Among speculative stocks, Saudi Fisheries tumbled 6.2 per cent.
But petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries fell only 2.4 per cent and National Commercial Bank was down 2.8 per cent, suggesting institutional investors, who focus on such stocks, were not selling as heavily.
Arabian Pipes, which soared last week after winning a contract from oil giant Saudi Aramco, stayed firm and gained 3 per cent.