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United Arab Emirates and Gulf stock markets plunge amid Syria attack fears

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United Arab Emirates and Gulf stock markets plunge amid Syria attack fears


Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries continued to plunge amid fears of an imminent attack on Syria.

Dubai’s benchmark DFM index tumbled to an eight-week low of 3.7 per cent, to close at 2,397 points, its lowest finish since July 11, as retail investors cut risk after the United States moved a step closer to launching military action against Syria.

Across the Gulf markets declined in volatile trading as investors opted for short-term trades amid mounting tensions.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark fell 2.3 per cent to 3,648 points, Kuwait’s bourse declined 2.6 per cent to 7,268 points and Qatar’s measure slipped two per cent to 9,348 points.

Saudi Arabia’s index was 1.7 per cent lower at 7,697 points.

Crude oil held above $115 a barrel on Wednesday as US lawmakers’ support for military action against Syria revived concerns that Middle East oil supplies might be disrupted if the conflict widens.

While Syria is not a big oil producer, investors are worried that a strike by Western forces against the country could spread unrest in the Middle East and disrupt supply from the region, which pumps a third of the world’s crude.

Shares in Emaar fall 3.2 per cent to Dh5.3 although small and mid-cap stocks were among the biggest fallers on Wednesday.

Air Arabia and Dubai Financial Market slumped 6.2 per cent, with Arabtec Holdings and Dubai Investments down 5.6 and 5.3 per cent respectively.

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