|19 February, 2019

Tuesday outlook: Asian shares trade higher; Gulf markets close mainly flat

Asian shares rose again on Tuesday on trade deal optimism. Oil prices drop following sessions of gains. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals

An investor observes stock market at an exchange hall on March 29, 2016 in Fuyang, Anhui Province of China.

An investor observes stock market at an exchange hall on March 29, 2016 in Fuyang, Anhui Province of China.

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  • Asian shares trade near four-month highs
  • Gulf stock markets close mainly flat on Monday
  • Oil prices retreat, stay near 2019 highs
  • Dollar unchanged, gold trades near ten-month highs

Global markets

Asian shares rose again on Tuesday, boosted by hopes over a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Optimism that a trade deal could be reached between the United States and China received a boost last week when U.S. President Donald Trump said talks were going “very well”.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a shade firmer, trading near four-month highs while Japan’s Nikkei was almost flat. Wall Street was closed on Monday for a public holiday.

A new round of talks between the United States and China to resolve their trade war will take place in Washington on Tuesday, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week, the White House said on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia's index was down 0.3 percent on profit-taking on Monday, with its biggest lender, National Commercial Bank, decreasing 1.3 percent and Al Jazira Bank shedding 1.7 percent.

Dubai’s index ended the day mainly flat, with Emaar Properties and its unit Emaar Development gained 0.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.6 percent following three straight sessions of gains as eight of its 10 financial stocks declined with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, shedding 0.9 percent.

Qatar Fuel rose 2.5 percent and Gulf International Services regained 1.1 percent. The Qatari index was hit by a technical glitch which impacted displaying the index value. The stock exchange later said that it was working to fix the issue, but added that the stock prices are correct.

Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent with developer Madinet Nasr For Housing And Development gaining 1 percent after it reported 19 percent rise it its full-year profit.

Kuwait’s premier market index, Bahrain and Oman edged 0.1 percent lower.

Oil prices

Oil prices retreated following sessions of gains.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, but still not far off the 2019 high of $66.83 a barrel hit in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.71 per barrel. While that was up 12 cents from their last settlement, it was below the $56.33 2019 high from the previous day.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that the Sino-American trade dispute was hurting economic growth globally, according to a Reuters report.

“Addressing global trade tensions is key for improving the economic outlook,” it said in a note.


The dollar was mainly unchanged early on Tuesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 96.784.

Precious metals

Gold traded near ten-month highs on Tuesday.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,326.10 per ounce as of 0048 GMT, after touching a 10-month high of $1,327.64 an ounce in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,328.9 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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