Dubai - Paris mayhem, poor earnings spark dismal sentiment.
A region-wide sell-off on Sunday, sparked by dismal investor sentiment on the back of renewed oil slump, Paris mayhem and poor company earnings, saw Dubai benchmark index hit its lowest close of 2015 along with tumbling stocks elsewhere in the Middle East.
Dubai's DFM General Index declined 3.7 per after Drake & Scull International reported on Sunday third-quarter losses close on the heels of a similar poor showing by another construction major Arabtec last week.
As the latest wave of terror attacks in Paris sent shockwaves across the region's markets, benchmark indices of Saudi Arabia and Egypt tumbled. Saudi's Tadawul All Share Index fell 2.9 per cent to its lowest finish since January 1, 2013 to take its losses this year to 17.4 per cent.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp and fellow petrochemical producers Saudi Kayan each dropped three per cent.
Egypt's EGX30 Index tumbled 4.1 per cent at12:58pm in Cairo to the lowest since December 2013.
In the UAE, Drake & Scull posted a Dh877.8 million attributable net loss in third quarter. Dubai's Shuaa Capital also slumped 10 per cent to an all-time low. The investment company reported a third-quarter loss on Thursday after market close, as expenses climbed partly because of provisions for small- and medium-enterprise lending.
In Abu Dhabi, etisalat dropped 1.6 per cent as traders booked profits after MSCI said it would include the telecom operator in its emerging market index from November-end.
Etisalat's shares had gained 29 per cent since June when the former monopoly said it would allow foreigners and institutions to own its shares, a prerequisite to join the index.
Dana Gas, the UAE energy company producing oil and gas in Egypt and Iraq, was the second-most traded stock in Abu Dhabi after it posted its biggest quarterly loss since 2009 amid a 47 per cent plunge in revenue. The company's shares fell 9.3 per cent and Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index fell 2.5 per cent.
Eshraq Properties Co was the third-most traded stock in the emirate after it posted a third-quarter loss of Dh2.7 million compared with a Dh109 million profit in the same period last year. Its shares retreated the most since August.
Stocks in Kuwait and Bahrain slipped 1.2 per cent and one percent, respectively. Oman's MSM 30 Index lost 0.2 per cent.
Qatar's QE Index climbed 0.3 per cent, ending its longest losing streak since 2003. Index provider MSCI said on Friday it will remove Gulf International Services from its emerging-markets gauge this month and replace it with Qatar Gas Transport Co. Gulf International fell 2.1 per cent.
Oil made its biggest weekly decline in eight months last week and US Light Crude fell 5.1 per cent on Thursday and Friday alone, the latter declines coming after regional bourses last traded.
The sustained slump in oil prices has hurt state finances in the Gulf along with earnings in the important petrochemical sector.