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Falling crude oil prices drag Middle East stock markets

Brent crude oil futures trade at $43 per barrel

Stock markets across the Middle East fell on Sunday (December 6) in response to the latest plunge in oil prices.

Brent crude oil futures per barrel fell nearly two per cent to $43 on Friday after news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was planning to maintain its production despite a 35 per cent slump in crude prices this year.

While Dubai’s general index declined 1.4 per cent, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell by 1.1 per cent. Both resumed trading after a five-day holiday.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index was 0.1 per cent lower, while the Muscat Security Market’s MSM30 was down by 0.3 per cent.

Egypt’s EGX30 fell by 0.9 per cent while Qatar’s and Kuwait’s benchmarks slipped by 0.2 per cent each.

OPEC meeting

In a policy meeting in Vienna, member countries decided to keep production levels of nearly 31.5 million barrels per day in anticipation of higher production from Iran next year.

Iran has said it will not cut production until it makes up for losses made during the sanctions on the regime by world powers.

Analysts believe the decision will result in further glut in the already oversupplied market and, eventually, oil prices will come under more downward pressure