GCC equity markets have seen sharp falls on the morning of 17 January responding to global markets.

The price of oil dipped below $30 on 15 January, and global equity markets fell again, prompted by weaker than expected economic results in China and the US.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Shares Index fell 6.9 per cent between opening and 11.30am local time, and is down by 21.3 per cent since the beginning of 2016.

The Dubai Financial Market fell 4.9 per cent by 12.30pm, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was down 4.2 per cent by 12.40pm.

The Qatar Exchange lost 5.8 per cent by 11.40am, while other regional markets saw smaller losses.

“It’s a combination of what we were seeing at the end of last week on the international side,” says Asjad Yahya, director at Dubai-based Shuaa Capital. “US and global markets are lower and oil broke $29 a barrel so poor sentiment is driving the market.”

Iran’s Tehran Stock Exchange bucked global trends following the announcement that sanctions would be lifted as set out by the 2015 nuclear agreement. The main index peaked at 65951.9 at 9:35am local time then dropping off slightly to 65543.8 at 11.55am, still up 1.1 per cent from the beginning of the day.

The TSE is up 6.1 per cent since the beginning of 2016.

“These movements are from domestic investors and they are a short-term phenomenon,” says Parham Gohari, partner at Dubai-based Frontier Partners. ”We have seen the market react this way in the past. If you look at the fundamentals of the companies and the economy, there are significant flaws. This will continue for a few days then correct.”

But the poor performance on GCC stock markets is not directly linked.

“The signing of the Iran deal adds to the nervousness in the market, with the anticipated increase in oil supply now getting closer,” says Yahya.

Increased output of up to 500,000 barrels a day from Iran could drive the price of oil even lower.