Arab stock markets join global rout

KUWAIT CITY, October 8, 2008 (AFP) – Gulf stock markets tumbled for the fourth day running on Wednesday amid growing fears that policymakers may be powerless to stop the worst financial shock since the Great Depression.

The plunge slashed many more billions from the combined value of regional markets to add to enormous losses chalked up in the past three days as concerns mounted about the impact of the global financial crisis on the oil-rich region.

In all, the seven Arab stock markets in the Gulf had already shed about 150 billion dollars of their capitalisation this week, shrinking their combined value around 800 billion dollars.

On the Dubai Financial Market, shares have lost more than a quarter of their value since the trading week began on Sunday as concerns mounted about the impact of the global financial crisis on the oil-rich region.

The local DFM Index sank another 9.68 percent to 3,043 after falls of 6.86 percent on Sunday, 7.6 percent on Monday and 5.14 percent on Tuesday to close at 3,369.15 points, its lowest level in more than two years.

Prices of all 27 shares fell, led again by real estate developer Emaar, which shed 10 percent. The real estate sector as whole was also down 10 per