Arab bourses relatively stable, investors monitor US stimulus plan

AMMAN - Arab stock markets are expected to be “relatively stable” in the coming weeks as ambiguity dominates the world’s leading economies, financial analysts said Friday.

By (DPA)

Published: Fri 13 Feb 2009, 8:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:22 PM

“We expect regional markets to be relatively stable in the coming couple of weeks as ambiguity characterizes world markets and plans taken by the US and other Western governments to handle the rampant recession,” Nizar Taher, head of brokerage at the Jordan Ahli Bank, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

“All predictions indicate that the year 2009 be will a difficult one for Arab stock markets, particularly in the oil-rich Gulf region, which is expected to suffer from the declining crude prices due to shrinking world demand for oil,” he said.

Investment plans by traders “appear foggy at this juncture as regional investors continuously come under the impact of global turbulence particularly in the Gulf countries, where markets have a special relationship with Western economies,” Taher said.

The Saudi stock market, the Arab world’s largest bourse, remained volatile this week, led by the petrochemical, banking and telecom sectors.

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Saudi market gained 1.11 per cent this week, closing at 4,847.62 points.

The Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG) said it expected the attention of investors to focus in the coming week on the performance of US and other global stocks and their reaction to the US stimulus plan adopted by the administration of President Barack Obama.

“In case the reactions turn out to be negative, the impact will put down pressure on oil prices and consequently on the Saudi stock market,” the BIG weekly report said.

Jordanian shares were volatile this week as the market awaited more 2008 results of listed firms and plans by the monetary authorities to ease the credit squeeze, Taher said.

The all share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange gained 1.78 per cent this week, closing at 2,704 points from 2,656 points last week, according to the ASE weekly report.

Kuwaiti stocks were the main loser in the Arab region this week after the cabinet postponed decision on a multibillion-dollar rescue plan, analysts said.

Kuwait’s KSE all share price index shed 4.38 per cent this week, to close at 6,614 points.

The benchmark price of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi gained 4.1 per cent to close at 2,392 points.

Egypt’s CASE 30 index, which measures the performance of the market’s 30 most active stocks, climbed 6.2 per cent this week, closing at 3,601 points.

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