Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell for the second time in four days as oil prices declined on concern a slowdown in the US, the world’s biggest crude consumer, may derail global growth.Saudi Basic Industries Corporation , the world’s biggest chemicals maker, decreased 1.4 per cent. Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest publicly traded lender by assets, slipped a second day this week. The Tadawul All Share Index declined 0.6 per cent to 6,431.742 at 1:15 pm in Riyadh, bringing the drop this year to 2.9 per cent.“US economic indicators continued to show that the recovery may be stalling and global markets fell on that news,” said Fuad Aghabi, a director at Ajeej Capital in Riyadh.“The Saudi market is reacting to the uncertainty surrounding th orld economy with lower volumes typical of Ramadan trading.” Emerging market and European stocks retreated after the US Institute for Supply Management’s factory index showed manufacturing activity expanded in July at the slowest pace in two years, coming in below the lowest estimate in a survey. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.2 per cent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.9 per cent.Futures on the S&P 500 Index decreased 0.6 per cent on Tuesday, suggesting US stocks will fall at the open even after the House of Representatives approved legislation to raise the debt limit. Crude oil for September delivery dropped as much 1.1 per cent to $93.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, started yesterday. About 48 million shares traded on the Tadawul so far today, compared with a 12-month daily average of 165 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Sabic fell to 103.75 riyals, and Al Rajhi Bank retreated 0.3 per cent to 72.25 riyals. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index slipped 0.1 per cent. Oman’s MSM30 Index and Bahrain’s gauge fell 0.4 per cent while Qatar’s measure increased 0.2 per cent.
From / Gulf today