Sept 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market tumbled on Sunday, leading declines across Middle East, in response to Friday's fall in energy prices and on fears that aggressive interest rate hikes by major central banks to tame inflation could cause a global recession.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI), which traded after a session's break, slid 2.6%, marking its biggest intraday fall since late-June, weighed down by selling across the board.
Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, plunged about 5% to an eight-month low on Friday as the U.S. dollar hit its strongest level in more than two decades and on fears rising interest rates will tip major economies into recession, cutting demand for oil. read more
The Saudi index remains exposed to additional price corrections with oil demand expected to continue slowing down, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss.
The energy index (.TENI) in Saudi Arabia was down 2.7%.
On Sunday, Qassim Cement entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hail Cement to acquire all issued shares in the company.
Qassim Cement shares retreated 2.9%.
According to Takieddine, investors' sentiment is increasingly risk-averse and could push the market down further.
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