File photo: A Saudi trader reacts as he looks at the stock market monitor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index fell as much as 3.8 per cent on Sunday, before recovering partly amid ongoing investigations on the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Tadawul index fell as much as 7,567.96, before closing 0.63 per cent lower to be at 7,600.26. The index, which was one of the best performing regional equities, has taken a hit, with 3.03 per cent gains so far in the year.

“The underperformance seen in the Tadawul Index at the beginning of the week is a general reflection of how investors have reacted to the outcome of the investigation,” said Jameel Ahmad, Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research at FXTM. The market breadth was negative. Out of the total of 188 companies traded on the exchange, about 156 companies traded in the negative. Traded value stood at 4.48 billion Saudi riyals. Saudi Basic Industries Corp closed 0.16 per cent higher at 125 riyals, while Alinma Bank closed 1.74 per cent lower at 20.34 riyals.

Outlook

The kingdom announced the arrest of 18 Saudis and the sacking of five officials as part of its probe into Khassogi’s death.

Analysts feel that the ongoing uncertainty will continue to weigh on investor sentiment. “There is still a layer of investor uncertainty around the reaction from different world leaders that is encouraging the mixed performance in the Saudi Index, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this momentum continues to show the same form until the conclusion of the upcoming Saudi Investment Summit,” Ahmad said. The investor summit will take place from October 23 till 25.

Elsewhere locally, the Dubai Financial Market general index closed 0.81 per cent lower at 2,735.48 weighed by weakness in bluechips like Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Properties.

DIB closed 1.90 per cent lower at Dh5.15, while Emaar Properties closed 0.80 per cent lower at Dh4.93. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.92 per cent lower at 4,943.08.