Most Gulf stock markets ended lower on Monday, as oil prices hit their lowest since 2021 on concerns that the banking woes would add to recession risks. Crude prices — a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets — slid 1.1% on Monday with Brent crude down to $72.16 at 1230 GMT.
Central banks' promises over the weekend to provide dollar liquidity could not calm investors worried about instability in the financial system.
The Qatari index slumped 1.3%, extending its losing streak into a seventh session with almost all sectors ending in red, led by financial and industrials. The region's largest lender Qatar National Bank fell 2.4% and index heavyweight banks Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank shed 3.2% and 2.2%, respectively.
In Abu Dhabi, the index declined 1.1%, dragged down by a 3.2% slump in conglomerate International Holding Company and a drop of 1.8% in Abu Dhabi National Energy. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 3.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Dubai's benchmark index fell 0.2%, weighed down by losses in utilities, industrial and financial sectors. Real estate developer Emaar Development dropped 2.9% and cooling services provider Emirates Central Cooling lost 1.9%.
"GCC stock markets came under pressure as concerns around the western banking sector continue to increase and it could strongly impact oil traders' expectations and push prices down," said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.
The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia ended 0.8% higher, extending gains to a second session. The index recorded a surge in almost all sectors with Al Rajhi Bank up 1.4% and Saudi National Bank rising 3.9%.
The Kingdom's largest lender by assets, SNB said on Monday its growth strategy will be unaffected by the reduced valuation on its investment in Credit Suisse following the Swiss bank's takeover deal with UBS on Sunday.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1.7%, snapping six session losses with all sectors in the positive territory. Commercial International Bank and E-Finance gained 1% and 6.1%, respectively. Separately, Egypt is targeting a GDP growth rate of 5% in its new fiscal year budget, a spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency said on Sunday.
- SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.6% to 10,218
- KUWAIT lost 0.8% to 7,795
- QATAR dropped 1.3% at 9,778
- EGYPT rose 1.7% to 14,924
- BAHRAIN lost 0.6% to 1,886
- OMAN fell 0.2% to 4,860
- ABU DHABI slid 1.1% to 9,545
- DUBAI lost 0.2% at 3,344
(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)