|20 December, 2018

Gulf markets retreated this week, dragged lower by weakness in global markets and oil prices

A drop in oil prices and weak investor sentiment weighed on equities worldwide and in the GCC

Gulf markets retreated this week, dragged lower by weakness in global markets and oil prices

Stock markets in the Gulf fell this week, as a drop in oil prices and a retreat in global markets weighed on investor sentiment.

World stock markets traded lower as investors remained concerned about trade tensions between the United States and China.

Data from Eikon shows that an index of world stocks slipped by close to 3 percent during the week.

“Dubai has been the worst-performing market this week yet again with no sign of any respite to the ongoing sell-off,” Nishit Lakhotia, head of research at Bahrain based bank SICO told Zawya by email.

“Recent newsflow such as a major super market chain owner fleeing the Emirates and liquidity troubles at a Sharjah-based investment bank with exposure to RE (Real Estate) and construction sector is also not helping the sentiments.”

Dubai-based Gulf News reported at the end of last week that the Indian supermarket chain Manama has shut branches in the United Arab Emirates after the owner had allegedly fled the country.

Invest Bank, based in Sharjah, has been struggling with liquidity troubles, as the banks is exposed to the real estate and construction sector. The UAE Central Bank said on Sunday it stood ready to extend "all the available liquidity facilities" to the struggling bank. (Read more here.)

A Thomson Reuters index of UAE real estate companies has dropped 37.28 percent so far during the year, weighing on Dubai’s index throughout 2018.

“While oil price decline of c.8% (circa 8 percent) and with Brent now at 14 month-low levels (it) is affecting Saudi and Omani index, which has also lost c.2% during the week. Fitch downgrade of Oman rating to junk this week also affected its index,” Lakhotia added.

Brent prices were trading near $55 per barrel by 14:36 GST on Thursday, and have dropped around 8 percent since the start of the week on fears of oversupply. Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Oman's sovereign debt rating on Tuesday to BBB-, which is below investment grade. (Read more here.)

Dubai

Dubai’s index fell 3.43 percent during the week and was last trading at the 2,509.81 level.

Among the worst performers were Amanat Holdings, dropping 16.67 percent, Amlak Finance (-14.5 percent) and Emaar Development (-11.59 percent), data from Eikon showed.

Among the top performers were Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance, adding 5.91 percent, National Central Cooling (+4.94 percent) and Dar Al Takaful (+4.82 percent).

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s index retreated 0.12 percent during the week and was last trading at the 4,855.943 level.

Among the worst performers were National Bank of Umm Al Quwain dropping 10 percent, while Waha Capital fell by 7.82 percent and Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics was down 6.42 percent, data from Eikon showed.

Among the top performers were Abu Dhabi National for Building Materials, adding 12.18 percent, Bank of Sharjah, gaining 9.8 percent, and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, adding 6.22 percent.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 2.05 percent during the week and last traded at 7,753.36.

Among the worst performers were Etihad Etisalat (-10.9 percent), Saudi Industrial Export (-9.69 percent) and Eastern Province Cement (-7.81 percent), data from Eikon showed.

The top performers were Saudi Fisheries (+33.39 percent), Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance (+22.81 percent) and Amana Cooperative Insurance (+10.18 percent).

Qatar

Qatar’s index retreated 0.42 percent during the week and was last trading at 10,412.51.

Among the worst performers were Qatar First Bank, dropping 5.24 percent, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, falling 4.79 percent, and Gulf International Services dropping 4.29 percent, data from Eikon showed.

Among the top performers were Qatar Islamic Bank gaining 1.64 percent, Commercial Bank adding 0.98 percent and Industries Qatar gaining 0.87 percent.

Kuwait

Kuwait’s premier market index dropped 1.47 percent during the week and last traded at 5,308.88.

None of the shares on the premier market made substantial gains, but the biggest fallers were GFH Financial Group (-7.43 percent), Mezzan Holding (-6.86 percent) and Zain (-5.34 percent), data from Eikon showed.

Bahrain

Bahrain’s index fell 0.41 percent during the week and was last trading at the 1,313.95 level.

Among the worst performers were GFH Financial Group (-11.48 percent), Al Salam Bank (-9.09 percent) and Seef Properties (-1.9 percent). The main gainers were Gulf Hotel Group (+7.48 percent), Aluminium Bahrain (+2.54 percent) and APM Terminals (+2.48 percent).

Oman

Oman’s index dropped 2.53 percent during the week and was last trading at 4,336.84.

Among the worst performers were Oman Telecommunications, falling 6.1 percent, Galfar Engineering and Contracting, dropping 5.49 percent and Bank Sohar dropping 5.17 percent.

Among the top performers were Shell Oman Marketing (+10.82 percent), Ahli Bank (+3.45 percent) and HSBC Bank Oman (+1.71 percent), according to Eikon data.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Michael Fahy)
(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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© ZAWYA 2018

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