Most markets down as oil slump weighs on petrochemicals, financials


DUBAI (Reuters) – Most Gulf markets were weak in early trade on Sunday, hurt by a sharp drop in oil prices which also rattled global stocks last week. The slide was led by losses in petrochemical and financial stocks.

Saudi Arabia’s index <.TASI> shed 0.9 percent as banks and petrochemical shares weighed on the market. Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries <2010.SE> was down almost 1 percent, Saudi British Bank <1060.SE> fell 1.2 percent and Al Rajhi Bank <1120.SE> was down 1.1 percent.

Saudi insurance firm Mediterranean and Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance (MedGulf) <8030.SE> was also down 1.7 percent despite reporting a 70 percent rise in third-quarter net profit.

Abu Dhabi stocks <.ADI> fell 0.2 percent, as Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) <TAQA.AD> slumped 3.6 percent as weak oil prices eclipsed strong third-quarter earnings last week.

Oil prices fell nearly 1 percent on Friday as global supply increased and investors worried demand growth could slow, sending U.S. crude to its longest stretch of daily declines since 1984.

The Qatar index <.QSI>, which has been the best performing market in the Gulf this year, was down 0.2 percent, hurt by a 1 percent drop in Qatar National Bank <QNBK.QA>.

A 3.6 percent drop in courier service Aramex <ARMX.DU> weighed on the Dubai index <.DFMGI>, which was down 0.3 percent in early trade.

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