Major Gulf bourses tumble as Omicron startles investors



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Major Gulf bourses tumble as Omicron startles investors

On Sunday, all major Gulf bourses had closed out the session in a pessimistic tenure with Saudi and Dubai reporting their largest intra-session declines in roughly two years, as frets of a new pandemic pathogen variant appeared to have overwhelmed investors.

In point of fact, in the day’s mass-scale downslope slide in Gulf bourses was almost entirely catalyzed by concerns over the Omicron variant, as WHO (World Health Organization) had declared the new strain, named as Omicron, as a variant of concern, casting holocaust on investors’ morale.

On top of that, followed by the release of media headline that a new pandemic pathogen variant was identified in the Southern part of Africa, both US and UK crude oil futures’ prices, a key catalyst to Gulf investors’ morale, tottered more than 12.0 per cent, eventually weighing on petrochemical stocks in the Gulf.

Besides, prospects of a near-term hawkish monetary policy from a string of Central Banks across the globe had diminished as a new pandemic variant would highly likely to add to hindrances on global economic recovery, slicing a larger bite in banking stocks in the Gulf.

Gulf stocks teeter after Omicron discovery

Citing statistics, in the day’s Gulf market wind-down, Saudi’s benchmark index plummeted 4.5 per cent with Al Rajhi Bank and SABIC plunging as much as 5.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively.

Besides, Dubai’s main index shed 5.2 per cent, marking off the index’s largest intra-day decline since March 2020 with property developer Emaar Properties shrugging off 9.4 per cent and budget airlines Air Arabia retreating over 7.0 per cent, while Abu Dhabi shed 1.8 per cent as telecom operator Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank fell by 3.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index dipped 1.3 per cent, while the region’s largest lender Commercial International Bank taking a header of 0.8 per cent. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatari bourse dropped 2.8 per cent with petrochemical group Industries Qatar leading the tally of the losses.