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Major Gulf markets fall on oil price slide

Ateeq Shariff/Dubai
Filed on November 1, 2020
Dubai’s main share index declined 1.6 per cent, dragged down by a three per cent fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.7 per cent decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.

(KT file)

Brent crude dropped 19 cents to settle at $37.46 a barrel on Friday, after touching a five-month low of $36.64 in the previous session.

Stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday in response to Thursday’s slide in oil prices as rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and the United States heightened concerns over the outlook for fuel consumption.

Brent crude dropped 19 cents to settle at $37.46 a barrel on Friday, after touching a five-month low of $36.64 in the previous session.

Lower oil prices and disruptions to crude exports are likely to impact the fiscal balances of countries reliant on oil income.

Dubai’s main share index declined 1.6 per cent, dragged down by a three per cent fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.7 per cent decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council faces a steep economic contraction this year before partially rebounding in 2021, with most countries facing sharper drops than previously estimated, a quarterly Reuters poll showed.

The UAE, which has seen a surge in new Covid-19 cases, is expected to see GDP decline six per cent this year, grow 2.7 per cent next year and expand 3.8 per cent in 2022. In July, analysts expected a 5.1 per cent decline in 2020 and 2.6 per cent growth in 2021.

The Abu Dhabi index closed down 0.6 per cent, with Aldar Properties shedding 3.3 per cent, while the UAE's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank was down 0.5 per cent.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.5 per cent, hurt by a 1.3 per cent fall in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries and a 1.2 per cent decline in the kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank.

In Qatar, the index slipped 0.5 per cent, with United Development sliding 4.8 per cent and Ezdan Holding tumbling eight per cent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.6 per cent, with most stocks in negative territory including El Sewedy Electric, which was down 2.6 per cent. — Reuters





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