Gulf markets tumble on Russia attack; Saudi Aramco at record high

Models of oil barrels and a pump jack are displayed in front of Ukrainian and Russian flag colors in this illustration taken, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Markets in the Middle East dived on Thursday, with oil prices rising above $105, after Russia's attack on Ukraine spooked investors across the globe about disruptions to energy supply.

Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two. Ukraine reported columns of troops pouring across its borders from Russia and Belarus, and landing on the coast from the Black and Azov seas. read more

Oil prices broke above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, stock markets slumped and the rouble hit a record low after the invasion.

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Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 1.8%, after shedding as much as 2.5% earlier in the session.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) rose nearly 2% to hit a record high as oil prices ballooned.

Only eight stocks of 211 listed in the index ended in the green.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) led the losses, as it plunged 3.6% in its steepest fall since March 2020.

Financial and IT stocks fell the most.

Dubai's main index (.DFMGI) closed 1.8% lower to post its biggest daily fall in a month. The index slid as much as 3.7% earlier in the session.

Emirates Refreshments (ERC.DU) was the top percentage loser, down nearly 10%.

Index heavyweights Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) dropped 3.4% and 2.2%, respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) declined 0.3%, while the Qatar index (.QSI) closed down 0.8%.

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Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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