Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf Markets In Black On Dovish Fed

Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf Markets In Black On Dovish Fed

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve flagged the end of its tightening cycle and struck a dovish tone for the year ahead. The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and U.S. central bank chief Jerome Powell said its historic tightening of monetary policy is likely over with inflation falling faster than expected.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by the Fed’s decisions as most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 1.2%, with Al Rajhi Bank jumping 3.6% and Elm Co rising 1.9%. Among other gainers, oil giant Saudi Aramco was up 0.3%. Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – rose, extending the previous session’s gains, on a bigger-than-expected weekly withdrawal from U.S. crude storage and a weaker dollar after the Fed signalled lower borrowing costs for 2024.

Dubai’s main share index finished 1.1% higher, led by a 2.3% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 3.3% increase in utility firm Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4%. The Abu Dhabi bourse recorded a positive performance and benefited from the changing sentiment as well as a rebound in oil prices, said Abdelhadi Laabi, chief marketing officer at KAMA Capital.

“The latter could, however, remain a source of risks for the market while they stay within a downtrend for now.”

The Qatari benchmark closed 1.9% higher, extending gains from the previous session when it snapped an eight-day losing streak, as most of its constituents were in positive territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which was up 2.9%.

According to Laabi, changing global sentiment helped pull the Qatari stock market out of the current downtrend. Although, some risks are likely to remain depending on the developments in energy markets which could continue to see downside risks.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.2%, hit by a 0.7% fall in top lender Commercial International Bank Egypt. SAUDI ARABIA gained 1.2% to 11,543

  • ABU DHABI rose 0.4% to 9,476
  • DUBAI gained 1.1% to 3,982
  • QATAR advanced 1.9% to 9,928
  • EGYPT lost 0.2% to 24,723
  • BAHRAIN lost 0.4% to 1,915
  • OMAN added 0.3% to 4,589
  • KUWAIT lost 0.3% to 7,431