Most Gulf stock markets witnessed weak trading today, Wednesday, as recession fears reduced investors’ appetite for risk, but losses were limited thanks to high oil prices.
The Dubai index closed down 0.3%, ending a series of gains that lasted for 5 sessions, under the weight of the 1.7% drop in the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA).
Abdul Hadi Al-Laabi, CEO of Sales and Marketing at Emporium Capital, said that the Dubai Stock Exchange fell after a slight recovery during the past few days, as dealers turned to secure their gains, according to Reuters.
“In general, the main index continues to fluctuate with some fluctuations,” he added.
The Saudi stock market index closed flat, with little change, at the level of 10276.94 points.
Oil prices, a major catalyst for Gulf financial markets, rose more than 2% after data showed a larger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories, but gains were limited by growing concerns about demand in China and an ice storm in the United States.
However, the Qatari stock index rose 0.3%, supported by a 0.9% increase in Qatar National Bank.
Qatar’s finance minister said his country approved the 2023 budget on Monday, with revenues expected to increase 16.3 percent next year thanks to higher average oil prices.
The price of oil was estimated in the budget at $65 a barrel, compared to $55 in the 2022 budget.
According to Al-Aibi, the Qatari market rose slightly thanks to the recovery in natural gas prices.
Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian index of leading stocks rose 0.1%, supported by an increase in the share of the Commercial International Bank, the largest bank in the country, by 2%.
According to a Reuters poll, the Central Bank of Egypt is expected to raise overnight interest rates by 200 basis points on Thursday as it tries to curb soaring inflation after a sharp devaluation of the currency.