News about US economic troubles hit the UAE's markets hard in early-morning trading today.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index fell more than 5 per cent this morning, which was its biggest drop since January. It is down 14 per cent from it's high in April.
The General Index on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was down more than 2.5 per cent, with stocks falling the most in the real estate, energy and banking sectors.
Investors in the region are reacting to the fact the Standard & Poor's rating agency has cut the US' AAA credit rating for the first time and growing concerns about its weakening economy, analysts say. In the UAE, investors are also nervous about the market performance in Saudi Arabia, after the Tadawul All-Share Index fell more than 5 per cent yesterday and wiped some $7.5 billion off of stock values.
On the DFM, Emaar Properties slumped more than 6 per cent this morning, to Dh2.84, which was the biggest decline since March 2.
Arabtec Holding, which is the biggest construction company in the UAE, dropped 7 per cent, to Dh1.33, in early-morning trading after it reported that its second-quarter profit fell 74 per cent.
*With Bloomberg News