Stock markets in the Gulf region witnessed volatile performance today, Sunday, and the Qatari index continued its losses for the third session.
And policymakers at the Federal Reserve on Thursday expressed their relief that inflation recorded a further decline in December, paving the way for a possible reduction in the rate of interest rate hike to a quarter point when the central bank holds its next meeting in about 3 weeks.
However, policy makers in the reserves support moving towards approving more increases, regardless of their size, with the final interest target being approximately above the 5% level, according to Reuters.
Most Gulf countries peg their currencies to the dollar, and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE usually follow the example of the United States in any change in monetary policy.
The main index in the Saudi market fell 0.2%, affected by a 1% decline in the share of Riyad Bank and 0.7% in the share of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation “SABIC”.
The Saudi Arabian Mining Company “Ma’aden” also fell 1.2% after two sessions of gains.
The company announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to form a joint venture with the Public Investment Fund, to invest in mining assets globally.
Government data published today, Sunday, showed that the inflation rate in Saudi Arabia increased in December on an annual basis, to 3.3%, compared to 2.9% in November, with housing costs mainly driving the increases.
In Qatar, the main index fell 0.3%, affected by a 1.9% decrease in the share of the Commercial Bank.
Qatar National Bank, the largest Gulf bank by assets, rose 0.7%, ending 3 sessions of losses.
Last week, the bank announced an increase in its annual net profit by 9%, after calculating the impact of hyperinflation on its operations in Turkey.
Outside the Gulf region, the leading index in Egypt rose 0.1%, supported by a 5.3% jump in Elsewedy Electric.
In Bahrain, the main index rose 0.1% to 1892 points.
While the index fell in the Sultanate of Oman 0.2% to 4868 points.
In Kuwait, the index fell 0.3% to 7,875 points.