Most of the Gulf stock markets closed lower on Wednesday, as renewed concerns about a recession in the economy and a decline in demand for fuel due to weak growth in the Chinese economy.
Chinese economic growth slowed sharply to 3% in 2022, its second-worst performance since 1976. Moreover, the production of Chinese refineries fell 3.4% in 2022 on an annual basis, marking its first annual decline since 2001, but the daily rate of oil use in refineries in December The first rose to its second highest level in 2022.
But the International Energy Agency said today, Wednesday, that the removal of restrictions related to Covid-19 in China is expected to raise global oil demand this year to a new record level, while supplies may be affected as a result of the price ceiling imposed on Russian crude, according to Reuters.
The main index of the Saudi market declined 0.2%, with the share of Rital for Urban Development falling 1%, while the share of the Arab National Bank continued its decline for the fourth session in a row, to close down 1.8%.
In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.4%, with the stock of First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the Emirates, falling 1.9%, and the share of Alpha Abu Dhabi Holding Group falling 1.8%.
The Dubai market index lost 0.2%, ending a four-session winning streak. The index was affected by the decline in the shares of a number of financial and real estate companies, with Emirates NBD Bank falling 0.8% and Emaar Properties falling 1%.
The Qatari index fell 0.2%, extending its losses for the seventh consecutive session, as most of the listed stocks fell, led by the Commercial Bank of Qatar, which lost 3.5%, and Masraf Al Rayan, which fell 2.9%.
Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.9%, continuing its rise since last Wednesday.
But Daniel Takieddine, CEO of the Middle East and North Africa at BD Suisse, said, “The Egyptian stock market is still characterized by uncertainty after the investment jump that followed the devaluation of the local currency.”