DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Stocks are tumbling across the Middle East as most of the region’s markets open for their first day of business following a historic downgrade of the United States’ credit rating.
The main market index in the regional financial hub Dubai led the declines Sunday, plunging over 5 percent before rebounding slightly to a 4.4 percent drop by midday local time. Other Gulf markets also opened sharply lower.
Mideast markets are the first to react to credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s decision late Friday to cut the U.S. level one notch from its top AAA rating.
Most Mideast markets operate Sunday to Thursday. Saudi Arabia’s stock market was the region’s only to open Saturday, when it plunged 5.5 percent.