Gulf Stocks, Aramco Shares Plunge, Oil Prices Rise Amid US-Iran Tensions
Gulf securities, led by Saudi and Kuwaiti stocks, fell sharply late Sunday afternoon amid rising fears of a significant escalation in the US-Iran conflict. Saudi oil giant Aramco dropped 34.55 riyals ($9.21) per share – 1.7% – to its lowest level since it started trading on December 11. The Kuwaiti index was down nearly 4.1%, while the Tadawul All Share Index of Saudi stocks dropped 2.2%. The Dubai Financial Market General Index was down 3.1% and the Abu Dhabi General Index dropped 1.41%. Oil jumped to $63.05 per barrel on Friday, its highest price in more than three months, amid fears that regional conflict could disrupt supplies. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 234 points (0.81%), the S&P 500 slid 0.71%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.79%. Against the general trend of falling prices, the US arms industry saw its stock prices climb sharply, with Northrop Grumman up 5.43%, Lockheed Martin gaining 3.6%, and Raytheon climbing 1.5%.