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Most Gulf Bourses In Red As Investors Eye Rate Hikes

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