Thursday, July 18, 2024

Most Gulf stock markets ended higher ahead of Powell’s testimony via Reuters


© Reuters. Saudi traders follow the movement of stock trading at the Saudi Stock Exchange in Riyadh, in a photo from the Reuters archive.

From Muhammad Mundar Hussain

(Reuters) – Most stocks in the Gulf region ended higher on Wednesday as investors eased fears of signs of tightening monetary policy from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony.

Powell is scheduled to testify on monetary policy on Wednesday and Thursday. Markets expect a range of 5.25% to 5.5% interest rate hikes by around 78% next month, and this could be the end of the monetary crisis cycle in the US.

Most Gulf countries peg their currencies to the US dollar, and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar generally follow the United States’ example in their monetary policy.

Dr. Shares in Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group rose 1.3 percent and Cooperative Insurance Services rose 3.9 percent, while the main Saudi market index rose 0.3 percent.

Shares of flexible Murabaha Finance rose 2.3 percent in its first trading session, and rose 20.5 percent on the day.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest bank, rose 2.1 percent and rose 0.3 percent, continuing its fourth straight session of gains.

Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company rose 1.2 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy (Dhaka) rose 0.9 percent.

On Wednesday, Taqa said it would buy SWS Holding for 1.7 billion dirhams (462.91 million).

It snapped a two-day losing streak to close 0.2 percent higher. The index gained support as shares of Emaar Properties ( DFM: ) rose 1.2 percent and Air Arabia rose 2.1 percent.

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Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, added 0.7 percent.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.2 percent, falling for the second session in a row. Qatar National Bank, the region’s biggest bank, shed 0.6 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank shed 1 percent.

Georges Powell, general manager of, said Qatar’s stock market is still under pressure and could test its lows for the month.

“The developments in the market have not given much support to the Qatari market,” he added.

Outside the Gulf region, the blue-chip index fell for a third session in a row, falling 1.2 percent, while all listed sectors fell.

Shares of Commercial International Bank ( EGX ) and Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries fell 0.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, while Eastern Tobacco Company ( EGX: ) fell 1.8 percent.

Egypt’s central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged overnight on Thursday, according to a Reuters poll on Monday.

(Prepared by Mahmoud Abdel-Kawad for Arab Bulletin)

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
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