Middle East stock markets crash as Tehran enters oil war
Tehran : Stock markets across the Middle East were collapsed as the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran threatened to unleash a fresh wave of oil into global markets that are already drowning in excess supply.
All seven stock markets in Gulf States tumbled as panic gripped traders. Dubai’s DFM General Index slumped 4.8pc to 2,682.56, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index collapsed by 7pc to 5,409.35, its lowest level in almost five years.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency issued the landmark document late on Saturday evening, sparking mayhem as markets opened in the Middle East.
The Iranian stock index gained 1pc, making it one of the best performing markets in the world with gains of 6pc since the start of the year. The dramatic moves came following the historic report from the UN nuclear watchdog, which showed that Iran has met its obligations under the nuclear deal, clearing the way for the lifting of sanctions.
Qatar’s index fell 6.7pc, while Abu Dhabi’s stocks tumbled 4.5pc to the lowest level since November 2013. Oman’s shares were down 3.2pc, the most since December 2014, and Bahraini equities edged 0.5pc down.
The stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia have been plunged into a painful bear market, losing 42pc and 38pc respectively, ever since Saudi Arabia decided to ramp up oil production in November 2014. Oil prices fell below $30 for the third time last week as traders prepared for the prospect of Iranian oil flooding global markets.
The Islamic Republic has vowed to return its oil production to pre-sanction levels, with estimates suggesting Tehran will add a further 500,000 barrels a day (b/pd) to the world’s bloated stockpiles within weeks. Fears that the Islamic Republic could quickly ramp up production sent Brent crude falling by 3.3pc to $29.43 – matching lows last seen in 2004. West Texas Intermediate also slipped back to $29.60, a decline of 4.5pc.
Oil has shed more than 75pc since last summer, a post war record as over-supply and fears over global economic growth has depressed traders. Oil price crash means petrol could become cheaper than bottled water.