The Dubai index witnessed its sharpest fall in a day since August 2015 after the “sabotage” attack of four oil vessels near Fujairah port.

Worries about rising tensions in the global trade war, along with recent profit-taking, had already shaved off 6-7 per cent gains since the start of the year, but the attack caused the DFM on Monday to go as low as 2,522.35, the lowest level in 2 months, before rebounding slightly to close 3.97 per cent lower at 2,525.61. The fall was the sharpest after the index fell 6.82 per cent on August 23, 2015, which was caused by a massive fall in Brent prices to below $45 (Dh165) a barrel. Currently Brent is selling at $72.36.

“There is a broader risk off in the regional markets after yesterday’s incident which further escalates the geopolitical tensions in the region. Accordingly, as Dubai is usually a more volatile market than its other GCC peers, 4 per cent fall is not very surprising. To further add to the concerns, uncertainty from US-china trade spat is not helping the sentiments,” Nishit Lakhotia, Head of Research, SICO Bank told Gulf News. The Monday’s fall brings the total 1 year returns to fall by 8 per cent. The index had gained 14 per cent to touch a high of 2,834 seen on April 22.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 3.32 per cent lower at 4,929.22. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Tadawul index closed 3.55 per cent lower to end at 8,366.64. The Muscat MSM 30 index fell 0.66 per cent to end at 3,840.18.