(Reuters) – Major stock markets in the Gulf edged lower on Thursday as investors remained cautious after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, strengthening the tone of support for monetary tightening. .
Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting released Wednesday showed that most policymakers agreed that the risks of higher inflation called for more rate hikes.
Most of the Gulf region’s currencies are pegged to the dollar, and changes in US monetary policy are usually reflected in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s main index fell 1.1 percent, hurt by losses in most sectors.
Al-Raji Bank, the world’s largest Islamic bank by assets, fell 2.6 percent. Shares of oil major Aramco (Tadaul: ) fell 1.9 percent after JP Morgan cut its price target on the stock to 39 riyals from 40 riyals.
Shares in Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company (Tadaul:) fell 1.9 percent after it reported a full-year net loss of 1.24 billion riyals ($330.54 million), compared with a profit of 2.39 billion riyals a year earlier.
Qatar’s stock index fell 1.8 percent, extending its losses for a third session. With the largest one-day decline since January 17, the index lost almost all sectors, led by financials and energy.
Shares in Qatar National Bank, the Gulf region’s biggest lender, fell 2.1 percent, while Qatar Islamic Bank fell 9.6 percent, the biggest one-day decline since March 2020, after the dividend right expired.
In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.4 percent, extending its losses for a fourth session. The index fell due to a 1.1 percent drop in Aldar Properties and a 2.3 percent drop in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
The main fell 0.4 percent, hurt by losses in most sectors. Emaar Properties ( DFM: ) fell 1.8 percent and Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD fell 1.8 percent.
Outside the Gulf region, the blue-chip index in Egypt rose 1.4 percent after losses in the previous session.
Gains in most sectors lifted the index, with Commercial International Bank ( EGX: ) advancing 2.9 percent and Egypt’s Kuwait Holding Company ( EGX: ) up 1.9 percent.
The Egypt-based investment holding company reported an increase in fourth-quarter net profit.
(Prepared by Towa Muhammad for Arabic Bulletin)
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