Emirate's benchmark dropped 5.87%, while Emaar Properties and Arabtec Holding all declined in early trading
(Updated 12:00pm) Dubai's index fell sharply in early trade on Sunday after oil prices prices plunged at the end of last week on OPEC's decision to keep output unchanged.
The emirate's benchmark dropped 5.87 percent, with most stocks in decline. Shares in Emaar Properties fell 5 percent and Arabtec Holding tumbled 7.56 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank and Union Properties both fell 8.6 and 8.7 percent respectively, while newly launched Amanat fell steeply with a loss of 17.5 percent.
Other markets in the region were also weak.
Qatar's index also fell 4.8 percent, slumping to
its lowest level since early July.
Oman's bourse dropped 4.4 percent, Abu Dhabi slid
2.0 percent and Kuwait was down 2.2 percent.
The price of Brent crude has tumbled about 10
percent to $70.15 per barrel since regional equity markets last traded on
"They (OPEC members) won't meet again until
June 2015," said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at NBAD
Securities in Abu Dhabi. "That means they want to see prices slide."
Oil's plunge has become the main concern of Gulf
investors in the last few weeks because they fear cheaper crude will force
regional governments to cut spending and stifle the growth of local economies
and corporate profits.
But Manibhandu said Sunday's panic sell-off could
be an overreaction.
"I think that by the end of the day there will
be buying opportunities and long-only institutions will increase their
positions," he said.