Saudi Arabia's stock market gave up early gains to close lower on Wednesday, snapping a six-day winning streak ahead of a meeting of OPEC+ producers.
OPEC+ looks set for deep cuts to its oil output targets when it meets on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market despite pressure from the United States and others to pump more. OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, is working on cuts of 1-2 million barrels per day, sources told Reuters, with several sources saying cuts could be closer to 2 million.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.1%, hit by a 1.2% fall in Retal Urban Development Co. Reuters reported, citing sources, that it remained unclear if cuts could include additional voluntary reductions by members such as Saudi Arabia or if cuts could include existing under-production by the group.
OPEC+ fell about 3.6 million bpd short of its output target in August.
The Qatari index dropped 0.2%, a day after the index saw its biggest intraday gain in over four years. Investors moved to secure their gains while pressure eased in natural gas markets after Russia resumed gas deliveries to Italy, said Fadi Reyad, chief market analyst at CAPEX.com. "The Qatari bourse could see new price corrections if natural gas declines more strongly."
Dubai's main share index dropped 0.8%, weighed down by a 3.4% fall in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.5% decline in budget airliner Air Arabia. In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.1%. The United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector maintained brisk activity growth in September, albeit at a slightly slower pace than August, as new business drove gains in output and employment, a survey showed.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.9%, with top lender Commercial International Bank climbing 2.5%. However, the market is still seeing a selling trend among international investors which could add downward pressure, according to Reyad.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)