Omicron batters indices across MENA

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  • The Saudi stock market's main index falls by more than 5% to 10,700 points
  • The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange index (ADX) drops by 2.6% to 8230 points

Stock markets across the MENA region suffered losses on Sunday as dip in oil prices and mounting concern over a newer variant of coronavirus ‘Omicron’ forcing governments to shut businesses and movement of people weighed heavily on investors’ minds.

Within minutes of the start of trading on Sunday, the Saudi stock market’s main index fell by more than 5% to 10,700 points, catching up with the declines in the UAE markets, as the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange index (ADX) fell by 2.6% to 8230 points. In addition, the Dubai Financial Market Index fell by more than 4% to 3030 points.

Moreover, during the first minutes of trade on Sunday, the Qatar Stock Exchange and the Kuwait Stock Exchange have both fallen by more than 2%.

 The Egyptian Stock Exchange’s losses were the least painful at the start of Sunday’s trade, with the main index EGX30 losing about 1.8 percent of its value and falling to 11,222 points, while the index of small and medium stocks fell by 2.2 percent to 2036 points.

Oil prices fell sharply in Friday’s session.

The WHO announced a new version of the Coronavirus, characterized as concerning, sending global stock and commodity markets into a spin on Friday.

Oil prices fell to their lowest level since September, with the most significant daily drop in almost a year, pushing Brent oil to a level below US$ 73 a barrel, a daily decline of more than 10%, and US crude to a level below US$ 69 a barrel, a daily drop of nearly 12%.

Commodity prices fell across the board on Friday, from copper to oil and cotton.

As US markets reopened after the Thanksgiving holiday, industrial metals, such as zinc and nickel, declined more than 3% in London, while cocoa prices fell 4.6%. In addition, sugar, wheat, coffee, and corn prices all dropped.

Oil markets are awaiting the OPEC+ alliance’s statement on these falls and risks to energy markets due to fears of a drop in demand and the American intervention by pumping barrels of oil from the strategic reserve in collaboration with India, China, Japan, and South Korea.

 

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