Saudi stocks fall as tension with USA increases over Khashoggi case

Saudi media: Any US sanctions over Khashoggi would ‘stab its own economy to death’

Oil prices firmed Monday morning as questions surrounding the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had traders pricing in the possibility sanctions would be imposed against Saudi Arabia.

Turkey claims to have evidence that Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month - an accusation the Saudi government strenuously denies.

They said there must be a credible investigation to establish the truth and "if relevant" identify those responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

"As necessity now arises to clarify the facts associated with this crisis in a neutral and honest manner, we reaffirm our categorical rejection of the repercussions of the politicised anti-Saudi campaign".

Turkish media have widely reported that intelligence officials believe Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad.

SoftBank's near $100bn Vision Fund, the company's venture capital arm leading investments into tech firms such as Uber, WeWork and NVIDIA, has attracted nearly half of its funds from Saudi Arabia.

The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.

"Whilst it is disappointing that some speakers and partners have pulled out, we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of speakers, moderators and guests from all over the world to Riyadh", a Future Investment Initiative representative said last week.

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"The links of SoftBank Group with Saudi Arabia have helped to lower the action", commented to AFP Yoshihiro Okumura, Chibagin Asset Management.

The plan, known as Vision 2030 and spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to increase foreign investment, boost tourism and grow the private sector.

Oil has become a political weapon once again following revelations of human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, prompting a global outcry against the Saudi regime, including threatening Tweets from US President Donald Trump, prompting lashback from Saudi Arabia.

"I think we need to continue to evaluate the facts and we'll make that decision", he said.

Son spoke at the conference last year, and several SoftBank executives were listed as participating this year before conference organizers removed all the names from the program posted online.The company hasn't responded to repeated requests for comment on whether its executives still plan to attend this year's gathering.

Trump said he could not confirm such reports.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, members of the Foreign Relations Committee, have said Congress is prepared to move quickly and firmly if Trump fails to adequately respond to Khashoggi's disappearance. Trump said he didn't "want to get into (Salman's) mind", but told reporters: "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers". They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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