Most equity markets in the Gulf closed higher on Wednesday as investors were encouraged by expectations of an end to the global rate hike cycle following positive inflation readings in the US.
Data released on Tuesday showed that headline consumer prices in the US remained stable in October, contrary to expectations of a 0.1% increase. Core CPI also came in below the forecast of 0.3%, at 0.2%.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is generally guided by the decisions of the US Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose 1.5%, extending gains from the previous session, led by Al Rajhi Bank’s 3.9% rise and Saudi Telecom Co.’s 4.5% gain.
Capex.com Middle East Managing Director George Pavel said the Saudi stock market is continuing its gains but may find some resistance near its previous peak.
“At the same time, the performance of the oil market may continue to weigh on sentiment.”
Most Gulf markets in the red ahead of US inflation data
Oil prices, a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, fell on signs that production from the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, was peaking, offsetting positive crude demand signals from top consumer China.
On the other hand, oil giant Saudi Aramco gave up its dividend and fell by 1 percent.
Saudia Technic, the aircraft maintenance subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudia Group, is targeting a public share sale before the end of the decade, its chief executive told Reuters at the Dubai Airshow.
In Abu Dhabi, the index closed with a 0.4% increase.
The Qatar benchmark gained 1.6% as most of its components were in positive territory, including Qatar Islamic Bank, which gained 2.7%.
However, Dubai’s main share index fell 0.3%.
Pavel said the Dubai stock exchange recorded price corrections after a short period of stability.
“Although local fundamentals remain strong, declining earnings have weighed on sentiment and may help limit losses.”
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue chip index rose 1%.
======================================== SAUDI ARABIA rose 1.5% to 11,023 ABU DHABI up 0.4% to 9,566 DUBAI lost 0.3% to 3,961 QATAR gained 1.6% to 10,179 EGYPT advanced 1% to 24,139 BAHRAIN was up 0.3% to 1,945 OMAN added 0.2% to 4,584 KUWAIT gained 1.4% to 7,278 ========================================
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