Gulf bourses in red, Saudi slips for fourth straight session

Energy-heavy Saudi Arabia’s benchmark share index fell 0.9 per cent, with oil giant Saudi Aramco down 1.6 per cent



Saudi’s main index trading lower for the fourth straight session amid weak oil prices. — File photo
Saudi’s main index trading lower for the fourth straight session amid weak oil prices. — File photo

By Reuters

Published: Mon 14 Mar 2022, 6:03 PM

Markets in the Middle East ended lower on Monday, with Saudi’s main index trading lower for the fourth straight session amid weak oil prices.

Oil prices fell by around $5 a barrel on Monday as investors pinned hopes on diplomatic efforts by Ukraine and Russia to end their conflict, while a surge in Covid-19 cases in China spooked the markets.

Energy-heavy Saudi Arabia’s benchmark share index fell 0.9 per cent, with oil giant Saudi Aramco down 1.6 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index lost one per cent, hit by a 1.9 per cent decline in the UAE's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Dubai’s main share index fell 1.4 per cent, hardest-hit in the region, pressured by financials. Amlak Finance dropped nearly 10 per cent, while Emirates NBD Bank slipped 3.7 per cent.

“While the fundamentals remain potent, the (Middle East) region’s markets could see additional price corrections as investors move to secure their gains due to the uncertainties around the development of the global economy,” said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

“Investors’ attention is shifting towards this week’s Federal Reserve meeting which could alter markets’ direction and forecasts,” Makarem added.

The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point at a two-day event later this week.

The Qatari benchmark inched 0.1 per cent lower.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index ended nearly 0.6 per cent lower, with top lender Commercial International Bank Egypt losing 0.7 per cent.

“The Egyptian stock market continued to record price corrections as risk aversion grows among investors,” says Makarem, adding that the country could feel a hit, if commodities remain high due the ongoing conflict in Europe. — Reuters


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