Middle East stock markets hit by coronavirus panic

Middle East stock markets hit by coronavirus panic
Middle East stocks have fallen as coronavirus continues to cause global panic.
2 min read
27 January, 2020
Aramco has been affected the most [Getty]

Middle Eastern stocks have fallen as the effect of the potentially deadly coronavirus continues to spread across the world.

Out of all the Gulf states, Saudi stocks fell the most. Its state Aramco oil facilities plunged to at its lowest trading level on a closing basis since its listing in Riyadh during the session but pared some of the losses at close. Its shares dropped by 0.4 percent to 34.30 riyals.

The UAE suffered with Dubai's main index dropping 0.6 percent whilst Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index declined 0.3 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Kuwait’s stock market fell by 0.5 percent whilst the QE Index in Doha dropped 0.4 percent as a result of the disease.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said the kingdom has been closely monitoring developments in the global oil market and put down the trough in oil prices has been spurred by "psychological factors".

Read more: Saudi Arabia denies case of deadly China coronavirus

Oman's Energy Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Roumhi expressed support to Saudi Arabia as stocks plummet.

"Oman fully supports the statement (and the spirit) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's stance on its readiness to react to any market condition that may be caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China," Rumhy said. 

No cases of the virus have been detected in the region so far.


Meanwhile, China on Monday extended its biggest national holiday to buy time in the fight against a viral epidemic and neighbouring Mongolia closed its border, after the death toll spiked to 81 despite unprecedented quarantine measures.

In a sign of the mounting official concern, Premier Li Keqiang visited ground-zero to oversee containment efforts in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the coronavirus emerged late last month.

The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, effectively trapping tens of millions of people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to quarantine the virus that struck amid the Lunar New Year holiday.

Twenty-four new deaths were confirmed in Hubei on Monday, and the southern island province of Hainan reported its first fatality, bringing the nationwide toll to 81, as confirmed infections swelled to more than 2,700.

The youngest infected patient was a nine-month-old baby being treated in Beijing.

Thousands more patients with flu-like symptoms were being monitored, suspected of contracting the pathogen.

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