By Sarah Townsend
Qatar Exchange down 7 percent in early trading, UAE also down
GCC stock markets dropped on Monday morning amid the cut in diplomatic ties with Qatar.
Qatar Exchange was down 7.11 percent (10.45am) in early morning trading, while Dubai’s stock index dropped 0.7 percent in the first 10 minutes of trading. Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange (Tadawul) opens at 11am (UAE time).
Qatar’s benchmark index dropped to its lowest point in more than a year, led by Nakilat and Vodafone Qatar, which sank 8.9 percent. All 19 members of the index declined in the first five minutes of trading.
Qatar National Bank, the country's largest bank, dropped 4.6 percent.
The volume of shares traded on Qatar Exchange in the first two hours of trading had already exceeded the total for the entire previous day – up from QR330,266,160 million on Sunday to QR409, 947,835. All industries were hit – including banks and financial services, transport, real estate and industrial.
Dubai’s index fall in the first minutes of trading was led by Shuaa and Gulf Navigation, while Damac Properties, Deyaar and Arabtec Holding were also down.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange also dropped on opening, by 0.32 percent, led by Methaq, Agthia and Arkan.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced on Monday morning they had severed ties with Doha on Monday morning, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Gulf airlines are expected to suspend flights to Qatar, with Etihad already announcing that Qatar flights would be suspended from Tuesday morning.
The diplomatic crisis is expected to hurt markets and business flows around the region.