The Saudi stock market, the Arab world's largest, posted huge losses on Monday, declining nearly 10 percent as shares in other Gulf states also slumped amid the global financial turmoil.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) fell 9.81 percent to close at 6,726.60 points, its lowest level in more than a year. It was the biggest single-day loss in several years.
According to AFP, TASI had already ended the third quarter the previous Monday, at 7,458.50 points, down 20.2 percent in the third quarter. The market is now 39 percent down on the year.
It was one of the worst days in the history of Saudi shares. All the 124 stocks that traded went down by close to 10 percent, the maximum allowed under Saudi law.
All 15 sectors in the Saudi market fell, topped by the media sector. The petrochemicals sector, which includes the giant market leader SABIC, shed 9.92 percent. SABIC itself lost almost 10 percent.
Markets in other Gulf states also went down again after incurring heavy losses on Sunday. Kuwait Stock Exchange, the second largest in the Arab world, shed 3.45 percent to close 11,951.70 points. It has declined 6.9 percent in the past two days.
Dubai Financial Market lost 7.6 percent to 3,551.79 points, its lowest level in more than 18 months. The market has lost around 14 percent in the past two days.
The second bourse in the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, closed on 3,558.18 points, down 5.6 percent. It has shed a total of 10 percent over the past two days.
Doha Securities Market fell 4.43 percent to close at 8,280.89 points, shedding 11.1 percent over two days. Muscat Securities Market dropped by 6.7 percent to close on 7,702.85 points, down 9.3 percent in two days.