Most stock markets in the Gulf fell on Sunday with fears about sharp U.S. interest rate hikes and the prospect of weaker oil demand weighing on sentiment.
Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, posted a second weekly decline on Friday amid fears that rising Covid-19 cases in top oil importer China may squeeze demand.
Meanwhile, Gulf Cooperation Council countries are in the firing line of Federal Reserve policy moves as five have their currencies pegged solely to the dollar and broadly follow the US monetary policy moves.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.8 per cent, pressured by banking stocks, with Al Rajhi Bank down 1.2 per cent and Saudi National Bank dropping 1.7 per cent.
The Qatari index also dropped 0.8 per cent, extending losses to five sessions in a row, with financials and industrial stocks leading the losses.
Qatari conglomerate Industries Qatar lost 1.6 per cent while Qatar Islamic Bank was down 1.2 per cent.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index edged up 0.1 per cent for a sixth session of gains, with Elsewedy Electric advancing 2.7 per cent. — Reuters
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