Most stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Sunday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier that the bank does not believe the inflation battle is over, but will proceed “cautiously” in its next step.
In remarks made on Friday at a symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, US, Powell said that inflation remains very high even with the recent positive readings, and that the US central bank will have to take further action to stabilize prices again.
The oil and gas exporting countries in the Gulf usually follow the movements of the US Federal Reserve with regard to interest rates, as most countries there peg their currencies to the dollar. Only the Kuwaiti dinar is linked to a basket of currencies that includes the dollar.
The Saudi index rose 0.6%, supported by the rise in the shares of the giant oil company, Saudi Aramco, by 0.4%, and Al-Rajhi Bank, by 0.3%.
The Qatari index advanced 0.2%, with the share of the telecommunications company (I want) rising 3.7%.
Outside the Gulf region, the leading stock index in Egypt rose 1.7%, with most of the stocks included in it rising.
Egypt hopes its imminent entry into the BRICS group will help ease its foreign exchange scarcity and attract new investment, but analysts say it may take some time before any benefits emerge from the move.
In Bahrain, the index rose 0.1%, to 1953 points, while the Oman market index fell 0.1%, to 4772 points, and in Kuwait, the main index fell 0.1%, to 7756 points.