Gulf markets slip as investors focus on oil

 

MARKETS FAIL TO CHEER: Led by the UAE bourses, all the regional indexes except Qatar and Oman ended in the red on the first trading day of the week. - Reuters
MARKETS FAIL TO CHEER: Led by the UAE bourses, all the regional indexes except Qatar and Oman ended in the red on the first trading day of the week. - Reuters

Dubai - The UAE indexes were driven down by the banking and real estate sectors shares.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 15 Mar 2020, 9:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Mar 2020, 11:42 PM

Panic selling on most of the GCC stock markets continued on Sunday as stimulus packages announced by the regional central banks failed to impress because investors focused on oil prices, coronavirus impact and volatility in global equity markets.
Led by the UAE bourses, all the regional indexes except Qatar and Oman ended in the red on the first trading day of the week. Dubai Financial Markets plummeted 3.38 per cent to 1,963 points while Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange lost 1.86 per cent to close at 3,849.
The UAE indexes were driven down by the banking and real estate sectors shares with Dubai's largest lender Emirates NBD falling nearly 10 per cent, Emaar Properties dropping five per cent, Commercial Bank International plunging 10 per cent, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank falling 5.8 per cent on Sunday. Theme parks operator DXB Entertainments lost over five per cent after temporarily suspending park operations.
The regional stock markets have been battered this month firstly due to coronavirus impact on economy and then from the collapse of Opec-Russia talks collapse on oil production cuts.
On Saturday, the UAE Central Bank announced a Dh100-billion stimulus package to help banks cope with liquidity shortfall and support small and medium businesses and retail sectors to combat the impact of coronavirus. Last week, Brent also recorded a steep drop of 25.23 per cent, its worst weekly fall since the 2008 financial crisis, following Saudi Arabia's decision to increase exports post the fallout to reach an agreement with Russia.
In Saudi Arabia, Tadawul closed 1.1 per cent lower, despite 50 billion riyal stimulus package announced by Riyadh to support the region's largest economy to combat coronavirus. Aramco dipped one per cent after posting a 21 per cent decline in 2019 net profit to $88.2 billion.
Analysts had expected net profit of $92.6 billion, based on 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv. Panic selling on Boursa Kuwait also continued as its index plunged 6.5 per cent to 4,904 points. The Boursa Kuwait on Saturday said that its security circuit breaker has been temporarily modified by reducing the lower limit from 10 per cent to five per cent but maintained the upper limit at 10 per cent. The GCC stock exchange's circuit breaker was broken thrice this month as equity markets have been hammered in March due to Covid-19 and Russia-Opec oil talks collapse.
Bahrain Bourse also dropped 1.5 per cent to 1,414 on Sunday. Muscat Securities Market and Qatar Exchange bucked the trend, rising 0.4 per cent and one per cent, respectively.
Going forward, Iyad Abu Hweij, managing director of Allied Investment Partners, said investors will access all the news surrounding the developments of coronavirus and government measures to gauge the impact on global economies, which will accordingly dominate the trading activity during the week.
"For the regional markets, investors will closely monitor the developments in the global markets, especially the movement in oil prices," said Abu Hweij.
- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com



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