Dubai: The state oil giant Saudi Aramco has seen its shares drop by 10 per cent as Riyadh stock market opens, halting trading.
The Tadawul market only allows stocks to fluctuate by 10 per cent a day, meaning it halted traded early Monday as the market opened.
It came as global oil prices suffered their worst losses since the start of the 1991 Gulf War.
Other Mideast markets fell as well as the new coronavirus has affected global energy prices and OPEC failed to make a production cut deal with Russia last week.
Boursa Kuwait shut down within 30 minutes of opening Monday as stocks again dropped by 10%, the third such emergency halt to trading in recent days.
The new virus has caused major economic disruptions, including in global aviation, which has helped slow demand for oil. An OPEC meeting with Russia last week failed to see countries agree to a production cut. In response, Saudi Arabia has warned it will increase its production and slash its own prices to claw back market share.
That sent oil prices into a free fall, losing some 25 per cent of their value. Mideast stock markets followed suit.