March 28, 2023

Most Gulf stock markets closed lower on Tuesday, as lower oil prices and expectations of higher interest rates by the US Federal Reserve weakened investor sentiment, while the Abu Dhabi index moved against the trend.
Oil prices, the main catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf states, fell more than 1 percent today as Brent crude futures for March delivery fell 1.25 percent to $83.97 a barrel to 14: 14 GMT.
Investors expect the US Central Bank to raise interest rates by 25 basis points tomorrow, Wednesday, and any departure from this scenario will be a real shock.
Most of the Gulf countries peg their currencies to the US dollar, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar usually follow the US lead in their monetary policy.
The Saudi index fell 0.2 percent, extending its losses in the second session, which were impacted by a 1.8 percent decline in Saudi Basic Industrial Corporation (SABIC) and a 0.2 percent decline in Retal Urban Development.
However, the Abu Dhabi index rose 0.1 percent, helped by a 5.7 percent gain in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which recorded its highest intraday gain since July.
The Dubai index fell slightly due to losses in financial and real estate stocks that weighed heavily on the index as Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Properties fell 3 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
The Qatari index fell 1.7 percent, with most stocks included in the index falling.
“Mild winters are impacting energy demand in Europe and the United States and could increase pressure on the Qatari market,” said Farah Murad, Senior Market Analyst, XTP Middle East and North Africa.
Shares of Qatar National Bank, the largest bank in the Gulf, continued to fall, dropping 3 percent, while shares of Masraf Al Rayan fell for a third consecutive session, falling 5.5 percent on weak earnings.
On Sunday, the bank reported a 22 percent drop in net income for the full year.
Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian blue-chip index fell 3.4 percent, continuing to lose its second straight session, with nearly all stocks in the index down.

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