imageKUWAIT CITY: Saudi stocks dived 17.2 percent in August to lead a slide in other Gulf bourses which came under pressure from a sharp decline in oil prices and China's economic woes.

Global equities were hammered last week as risk-averse investors dumped shares on spreading panic that the flagging Chinese economy — the world's second largest — could spark a new worldwide recession.

The August decline in the Gulf wiped out all gains made by its seven stock markets since the start of the year, with all dipping into the red.

The Gulf states depend heavily on oil as a main source of income, and China is a major trading partner and the most important market for Middle East crude.

The decline also came following a string of negative economic reports that said the six Gulf states will lose around $300 billion in oil revenues and end 2015 with a budget shortfall.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index dropped 2.2 percent on Monday to end the month on 7,522.47 points. It is 9.7 percent down on the year.

Dubai Financial Market Index was the second biggest loser, dipping 11.6 percent in August to close the month on 3,662.56 points. The index is 1.7 percent lower than last year's finish.

Oman dived 10.5 percent, Abu Dhabi shed 7.0 percent and Kuwait slumped 6.9 percent. All of them are below the 2014 close.

Qatar Exchange, the second largest in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia, made a comeback in the last two days of the month to cut its monthly losses to just 1.9 percent.

However, it is still down 5.9 percent on the year.

The tiny Bahrain bourse dropped just 2.4 percent in August, and is 8.9 percent lower than last year's close.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015