Saudi Arabia's stock market ended lower on Sunday, amid weak oil prices which closed the week at their lowest levels since February, rattled by worries a recession could hit fuel demand.
The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia retreated 0.6%, hit by a 1.5% fall in Riyad Bank and a 1.7% decline in Banque Saudi Fransi.
Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, settled up 80 cents to $94.92 a barrel on Friday, recouping some of this week's losses on strong U.S. job growth data. Saudi Arabia has registered a budget surplus of nearly 78 billion riyals ($21 billion) in the second quarter of 2022, the finance ministry said on Thursday, an almost 50% rise from a year earlier, bolstered by high oil prices.
Crude prices have soared in 2022 to their highest since 2008, climbing above $139 a barrel in March after the United States and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Prices have since eased to below $100 a barrel as soaring inflation and higher interest rates raise fears of a recession that would erode demand. In Qatar, the equities closed flat, as gains in industrial stocks were offset by losses elsewhere.
Among gainers, petrochemical maker Industries Qatar rose 0.5%, ahead of reporting its first-half earnings.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.8%, with top lender Commercial International Bank advancing 2.4%.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has set up a company to invest in promising Egyptian sectors, extending a policy of pumping money into the Egyptian economy.
The $620 billion sovereign wealth fund said on Friday that sectors in Egypt it would target through its new Saudi Egyptian Investment Co (SEIC) included infrastructure, real estate, health care, financial services, food and agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.6% to 12,217
QATAR was flat at 13,380
EGYPT rose 0.9% to 10,131
BAHRAIN ended flat at 1,900
OMAN lost 0.3% to 4,654
KUWAIT dropped 0.4% to 8,596
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)