Mideast indexes drop in first day of trading post-Brexit

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Stocks tumbled in the Middle East on Sunday, the first day of trading since Britain voted to leave the European Union, following other market drops in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Saudi Tadawul index, the region’s largest, closed 1.1 per cent lower, while Egypt’s EGX 30 saw a 5.54 per cent drop.

Other Mideast indexes, which trade from Sunday to Thursday, also fell. Dubai’s main index was down 3.25 per cent. Abu Dhabi’s index fell 1.85 per cent.

Investors had expected the UK to remain in the EU. The outcome of the vote brought a massive dose of uncertainty to financial markets on Friday.

Oil prices also sank, with the benchmark U.S. crude declining 4.9 per cent, to close at $47.64 a barrel in New York. Brent crude also fell 4.9 per cent to $48.41 a barrel in London on Friday.

After the Brexit poll came out in favour of an exit of Britain from the EU, asset management firm Al Masah Capital said investors preferred to sell risk assets and await more clarity on the impact Britain’s EU exit will have on the global economy.

Al Masah Capital said Sunday that the volatility in the market is not necessarily a bad thing, however, and could give long term investors the ability to purchase undervalued stocks.