Qatar’s Shares Drop Most in Three Weeks on Europe Ratings Risk

Qatar’s benchmark stock index declined the most in more than three weeks as emerging-market stocks fell after Fitch Ratings joined Moody’s Investors Service in warning that Europe faces lower credit ratings.

Industries Qatar QSC, the Middle East’s second-biggest petrochemicals company, dropped to the lowest level this month. Qatar Telecom QSC, the country’s biggest company by revenue, retreated a second time this week. Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.4 percent, the most since Nov. 21, to 8,763.78 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index sank 1.3 percent, the steepest drop since Oct. 3, as trading volumes climbed to the highest since March.

Fitch and Moody’s said yesterday that a European Union summit last week offered little help in ending the region’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.3 percent yesterday, the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index dropped today to the lowest this month and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell as much as 1.1 percent.

Gulf Cooperation Council “markets are trading on a negative note, tracking international sentiment,” said Samer Darwiche, an analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. Moody’s comments that the European summit “failed to produce decisive measures” is affecting sentiment, he said.

Industries Qatar slid 1 percent to 133.60 riyals. Qatar Telecom dropped 1.3 percent to 150 riyals.

Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index lost 0.3 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index declined 0.2 percent, snapping its longest winning streak since March last year. Bahrain’s measure was little changed and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index fell 0.5 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index advanced 0.4 percent and Kuwait’s gauge strengthened 0.1 percent.

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