Following the end of a horrible week for petroleum importers (not to mention shale producers) despite WTI briefly dipping under $40 (wasn’t this supposed to be great news for the US economy?) we have the start of a just as ugly week for the Persian Gulf oil exporters, whose Sunday market open can be described as a continuation of last week’s broad risk carnage, and where Saudi Arabia, until recently the region’s best performing market, is now down 10% for the year and down 30% compared to 12 months ago.
Appropriately enough following our overnight article lamenting the death of the Petrodollar, the WSJ opens with a description of “stock markets in the petrodollar-dependent Persian Gulf tumbled Sunday to multi-month lows, spooked by sharply lower oil prices and a global equities selloff on growing concerns about China’s economy.”
Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest market, led the regionwide decline to finish the day nearly 7% lower. Dubai stocks dropped by a similar percentage, while regional peers Abu Dhabi and Doha’s markets both fell 5% each to extend recent losses.
Dubai stocks lost 7% to end at 3451.48, while its neighbor in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s market, dropped 5% to 4286.49. Qatar’s main stocks benchmark finished down 5.3% at 10,750. The Gulf stock markets are open for trading Sunday through Thursday.
Investors took a lead from Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy. Its stocks closed 6.9% lower at 7463.32 after Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded its outlook for the kingdom to negative from stable because of weaker oil prices.
The Saudi economy is heavily dependent on oil, which accounts for 90% of fiscal revenues, 80% of current account revenues and 40% of the gross domestic product, analysts at Fitch noted.
By now, we have hammered the point that the price of