Middle Eastern markets drop as panic hits stocks

STOCK markets across the Middle East provided an early glimpse of what traders in Europe and the US can expect today, with widespread losses reported as bourses reacted for the first time to Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the US credit rating, as well as ongoing turmoil in the Eurozone.

The Dubai Financial Market fell more than five per cent yesterday morning – its steepest drop since January – and closed 3.69 per cent down at 1484.31, a pattern echoed across the Middle East with markets in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia also suffering losses of between two and five per cent over the weekend.