Shares in the Arabian Gulf retreated in line with a global equities sell-off, on investor doubts over the prospects of president Donald Trump’s pro-business policies.
Stocks across Asia and Europe fell after the S&P fell 1.2 per cent on Tuesday, the index’s sharpest drop since October 11. The Nikkei tumbled 2.1 per cent, while the Euro Stoxx 50 was about 0.5 per cent lower in afternoon trade.
The US sell-off followed concern over mounting obstacles to Mr Trump’s policy agenda, notably the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. Futures markets predicted a lower opening for US markets.
Oil prices, meanwhile, fell for a third consecutive day as US inventories continued to climb. Brent crude futures fell as low as US$50.05, their lowest level since late November.
Shares in Saudi Arabia led losses across the Arabian Gulf. The Tadawul closed 1.1 per cent lower, its third consecutive negative close, with Sabic and NCB the main decliner.
Trading in the UAE remained subdued, with investors content to sit on the sidelines in the absence of clear catalysts.
Shares in Dubai closed down 0.6 per cent at 3,474.73, dragged lower by Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Malls. Emirates NBD and DXB Entertainments were the pick of just four gainers.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index finished the day 0.7 per cent lower at 4,481.89, with FGB and Etisalat weighing on stocks.
Kuwaiti shares were the clear winners across the region, climbing by 2 per cent thanks to gains by Eyas for Higher & Technical Education and National Petroleum Services.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter