Gulf markets end mixed on economic concerns, volatile energy prices

Top Stories

Dubai’s main share index added 0.3 per cent. — File photo
Dubai’s main share index added 0.3 per cent. — File photo

Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 6:53 PM

Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Tuesday, amid growing concerns over a global economic downturn and volatile energy prices.

By Reuters

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index reversed early losses to close 0.9 per cent higher, with Al Rajhi Bank advancing 3.7 per cent and Retal Urban Development Co rising 1.8 per cent.

Elsewhere, Sabic Agri-Nutrients Co jumped 6.2 per cent after the firm proposed a cash dividend of SR8 per share for the second half of 2022.

The kingdom’s crude oil exports rose for a fifth straight month in October to the highest in 30 months, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.

Dubai’s main share index added 0.3 per cent, buoyed by a 10.1 per cent surge in National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) following media reports that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund is in talks to buy a stake worth $250 million in Saudi Tabreed — a local venture of Tabreed.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.2 per cent.

The Abu Dhabi bourse saw some price corrections after a strong rebound, Fadi Reyad, chief market analyst at MENA, said.

“The main index could also be pulled down by the uncertainty around the developments in oil markets,” he said.

The Qatari benchmark dropped 0.2 per cent, hit by a 1.6 per cent fall in Qatar International Islamic Bank.

Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets — rose, supported by a softer dollar and a US plan to restock petroleum reserves, but gains were capped by uncertainty over the impact of rising Covid-19 cases in top oil importer China.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index declined 1.5 per cent, falling for a fourth consecutive session as profit taking continues.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will raise its overnight interest rates by 200 basis points on Thursday as it tries to quell soaring inflation after a sharp devaluation of the currency, a Reuters poll predicted on Tuesday. — Reuters

More news from Business