Most GCC stock markets made gains in July as lockdown restrictions were eased and oil prices climbed, a monthly report by Kuwait Financial Centre ‘Markaz’ revealed.
The S&P GCC composite index surged 1.7 percent during the month.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s stock market index rose 3.3 percent, Dubai’s index dropped 0.7 percent, Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.4 percent, Oman’s index gained 1.5 percent, Qatar’s index rose 4.1 percent while Kuwait’s index dropped 3.2 percent and Bahrain’s index gained 1 percent.
GCC governments have started to gradually ease restrictions and open up their economies after months of lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“OPEC+ agreement to cut production by 7.7 million barrels a month from August encouraged GCC investors,” Markaz said.
OPEC+ has been cutting output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from May through the end of July. Starting August, the level of production cuts will be reduced to 7.7 million bpd until December.
Brent oil prices closed at $43.3 per barrel at the end of July, compared to $41.15 per barrel at the end of June, data from Refinitiv’s Eikon showed.
Markaz said that global equity markets’ performance was also positive, with the MSCI World Index gaining 4.7 percent in July.
Analysts told Zawya in July that they expect GCC corporate earnings to take a hit in Q2 2020 as lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus hurt business activity during the quarter.
However, analysts noted that earnings are likely to improve in the coming quarters, once lockdown measures are relaxed.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)
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