GCC markets rebound, Asian bourses drop; Brent falls below $30

 Dubai, Abu Dhabi bourses, markets, GCC, Brent, Oil

Dubai - Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses were up nearly two per cent.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 18 Mar 2020, 10:42 AM

Last updated: Wed 18 Mar 2020, 1:03 PM

Most of the GCC bourses, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, were trading higher on Wednesday morning as investors took a breather from the selloff witnessed over the last few weeks.
But equity markets in Asia and US stocks futures tumbled on Wednesday as worries about the coronavirus pandemic eclipsed hopes broad policy support would combat the economic fallout of the outbreak.
Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses were up nearly two per cent. Emaar Properties bounced back on Wednesday, gaining three per cent to trade above Dh2 a share. Emirates NBD was also trading higher at Dh7.3 a share, up 1.5 per cent. But Emaar Malls shares slumped after some malls revised their timings on Tuesday.
Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Index reduced maximum daily decline percentage for shares from 10 per cent to five per cent. This decision is effective from Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until further notice from the Securities and Commodities Authority.
Saudi Arabia's Tadawul was also trading higher by 1.2 per cent.  The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) announced implementation of the fifth and final tranche inclusion in FTSE Russell as an Emerging Market with an inclusion factor of 25 per cent.
The implementation of the fifth and final tranche will occur in two phases, the first phase will be effective on March 23 with 25 per cent of the inclusion factor. The second phase will be effective in the course of June 2020 with 75 per cent of the inclusion factor.
Bahrain Bourse was up 0.11 per cent while Boursa Kuwait gained 0.3 per cent after staying in negative territory in the first hour of trading. Qatar maintained its upward trend for the third consecutive session, rising two per cent. Muscat Securities Market was the only regional bourse to trade in the red, dippling slightly in the morning trade.
Oil prices were also trading lower with Brent falling below $30 a barrel.
Brent crude was trading down 43 cents, or 1.5 per cent, at $28.30 a barrel by 0650 GMT (10.50am UAE time), after dropping to $28.26 the lowest since early 2016. The international benchmark fell 4.3 per cent on Tuesday.
In Asia, Indian stock markets plunged further, hitting 3-year low, on Wednesday afternoon, as the Sensex breached the psychological 30,000-mark.  It fell over 1,200 points to touch an intra-day low of 29,325.41. At 12.43 p.m., it was trading at 29,441.87, lower by 1,137.22 points or 3.72 per cent from the previous close of 30,579.09.
Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday halted trade after index plunged 1,682 points or over five per cent.
This is was the fifth time that the trading has been halted at the Pakistani bourse this month.
"All market participants are hereby informed that due to five per cent decline in KSE-30 index, market halt is triggered at 10:17 am. All equity and equity-based derivative markets shall remain suspended for 45 minutes and shall reopen following a five minutes pre-open sessions. All outstanding orders have been cancelled," Pakistan Stock Exchange said in a statement posted on its website.

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