Analysts believe that the possibility of a war in the region with Iran is behind the sharp decline in the Gulf markets. The Saudi index fell 3% to below 9,000 points, losing 5.3% now in two days. The Kuwait Stock Exchange had its highest single-session loss this year, falling by 2% and below 15,000 points.
As markets around the Gulf once again struggled, only those in the UAE moved into positive territory. Other Gulf markets experienced random selling, pushing them downwards.
After two good days on the market, following the government's 25% sale of Omnitel, the Muscat market suffered a correction, falling 1.3%.
Elsewhere, the Doha market lost 0.36%, the fourth drop in as many days, while Bahrain fell 0.56%. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) managed to climb above 5,400 points following a gain of 0.80%, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) saw slight rise of 0.10%.
Saudi Arabia closes the week down 4.1%
For the second consecutive day, the Tadawul witnessed extensive selling, pushing the index below the 9,000 points mark to end the week with 4.1% decline in total.
Across the index, 108 listed firms declined while only six rose, including Ftaihi and Al Maraai, which posted record profits for H1.
Ftaihi's share rose 3.7%, having posted a SR22.7m profit compared with SR3m losses last year. Al Maraai's share rose 0.60% after posting a 38% rise in profits.
Heavyweight Sabic declined 5.1% to SR130, losing 5% during the week. Al Rajhi Bank fell 2.5%, despite posting a 5% increase in profits, reaching SR3.3bn. Samba Bank also fell, by 4.5% and Arab National Bank was down 5.2%.
In the telecoms sector, Zain fell 4.2%, while both Mobily and STC fell 2.8%.
Kuwait witnesses random selling
Kuwait witnessed a sharp decline, as it fell for the tenth consecutive session, giving up its 15,000 points mark, after pressure came from all sectors.
Traders rushed to sell after index dropped below 15,000 points, which put more pressure on the market.
The decline was led by heavyweight Zain, which fell by 4% to KD1.480 just one week before the start of its IPO to raise its capital and collect KD1bn.
The National Bank of Kuwait announced its profits after the market closed, with 21% rise for first quarter and 16% for second quarter. However, the share fell by 1%.
Dubai rebounds upwards after four declining sessions
The DFM stopped its decline today; brokers said that the intervention of UAE and other Gulf investors overcame the selling orders of foreigners.
Emaar rose to Dhs10.35, closing up 0.97%, while Ajman Islamic Bank once again grabbed traders' attention and climbed 15%, its maximum limit, trading Dhs362.3m. This represented one third of the total trading, which reached around Dhs1bn.
Abu Dhabi: Record profits for First Gulf Bank
Speculation on Abaar's shares saw it rise 7.5% to Dhs4.78, helping to keep the ADX above 5,000 points. The share dominated 20% of the total trading, which reached Dhs1.2bn.
Second quarter profits at First Gulf Bank rose 70% to Dhs808m; its H1 profits rose from Dhs695m to Dhs1.4bn. The share fell 0.357% to Dhs27.95, despite the above record profit.
Muscat and Doha: Banks lead the decline
Muscat's market was negatively affected by the general decline in other GCC markets, especially with foreigners tending to sell, which sharpened the profit taking wave after the exchange rose earlier this week, following the sale of 25% of Omantel to a strategic investor.
Omantel was the reason behind the market decline, after it fell 0.98%. The biggest decline came from Muscat Bank, which fell 2.3% despite trading 2.7 million shares out of total 11.7 million shares traded in the market.
Doha failed to stop its decline, which started as a result of foreign and local sales of portfolios.
Record H1 profits posted by QIIB bank, which rose to QR350.8m, didn't stop the share from declining by 0.30%. But Qatar Insurance rose by 0.17% after the company posted a 66% rise in H1 profits to QR408m.
Qtel witnessed heavy losses, declining by 2.1%.
Bahrain: Insurance and Investment behind the decline
The decline in the Bahrain market was led by the insurance and investment sectors, while Al Salam Bank, up 1.8%, continued to rise. It traded 1.1 million shares out of 3.6 million for the whole market.
Batelco, Arab Banking Corporation and Gulf Finance House fell by 0.12%, 3.8% and 3.2% respectively.