Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Most Gulf markets fell ahead of reports from the US Federal Reserve chairman, Reuters


© Reuters. Traders at the Bahrain Stock Exchange in Manama, in a photo from Reuters archives.

From Atiq Sharif

(Reuters) – Most stocks in the Gulf region were lower on Wednesday as traders awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s decision on interest rates.

Financial markets believe the U.S. Federal Reserve has ended its toughest monetary tightening cycle in decades, and as key U.S. jobs data on Friday showed few signs of a slowdown, investors are intensifying bets that interest rates will be cut next year.

Powell will make statements today, Wednesday and Thursday.

Monetary policy in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries is generally guided by the decisions of the US Federal Reserve, as most of those countries have their currencies pegged to the dollar.

Saudi Arabia’s main index closed down 0.2 percent at 10,929 points, hurt by shares of Arab Internet and Communications Services Co., which fell 2.4 percent, and National Bank of Saudi Arabia, which fell 1.4 percent.

George Powell, general manager of for the Middle East, said the stock market continued to trade within a limited range after recovering somewhat over the past two days.

Also, he added, “Trends in oil markets, lower crude oil production may continue to affect sentiment.”

Oil prices, a key driver of financial markets in the Gulf region, were under pressure after hitting a more than three-month low in the previous session, and their losses deepened on worries about slowing demand in the United States. and China.

In Dubai, the main index fell 0.6 percent to 3,965 points, driven by a two percent decline in shares of Emaar Properties ( DFM: ).

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Powell said the Dubai stock market posted some price corrections after a series of gains.

He continued, “Distributors will continue to monitor monetary policy developments in the US and geopolitical tensions in the region, which could increase volatility.”

At least 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children, have been killed and 26,457 wounded in Israeli bombardment since October 7, the health ministry in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), said on Wednesday.

Abu Dhabi’s main index fell 0.1 percent to close at 9,546 points.

Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian stock market’s leading index rose 2.5 percent to 23,987 points, with Commerce International Bank (EGX: ) shares up 6.9 percent to record their highest levels.

In a Reuters poll on Tuesday, the inflation rate is expected to ease in October from a peak of 38 percent in September, with food prices rising moderately, but analysts say the end of Egypt’s battle with inflation is far from over. Obviously.

(Prepared by Muhammad Aysem for Arabian Bulletin – Editing by Muhammad Ali Faraj)

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
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