Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday, tracking Friday’s fall in global shares as investors prepared for a series of interest rate hikes as central banks fight inflation.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell drove headlines on Thursday by saying a 50 basis point rate hike is “on the table” at the Fed’s next meeting, adding that it “is appropriate to be moving a little more quickly” to combat inflation.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dropped 0.5%, weighed down by a 3.7% drop in Saudi Arabian Mining Company and a 1.6% decline in Saudi Telecom Company.
Among other losers, Tabuk Cement retreated 1.6% as the stock traded ex-dividend.
Major Gulf bourses close higher
Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, slipped on Friday with the prospect of weaker global growth, higher interest rates and COVID-19 lockdowns in China hurting demand even as the European Union considers a ban on Russian oil that would tighten supply.
In Qatar, the stock index slipped 0.5%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar, which was down 1.2%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.5% to 13,463
QATAR lost 0.5% to 13,987
BAHRAIN eased 0.3% to 2,080
OMAN fell 0.4% to 4,219
KUWAIT down 0.3% to 9,142