Most stock markets in the Gulf closed higher today, Wednesday, ahead of the release of inflation data in the United States, which provides an indication of the action that the Federal Reserve will adopt regarding interest rates next month.
Most of the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, peg their currencies to the US dollar and follow monetary policy decisions taken by the Federal Reserve, which makes the region vulnerable to any direct monetary tightening in the world’s largest economy.
The main index of the Saudi stock market rose 0.8% after two sessions of losses, supported by the rise in the shares of Al-Rajhi Bank and oil giant Aramco by 0.8% each, according to Reuters.
This comes amid stability in oil prices, the main catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf. Monthly reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency are due on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Dubai’s main index rose 1.5%, hitting a new level for this year, supported by a 3.5 jump in Emaar Properties.
Analysts attributed the rise to strong local fundamentals, and Ahmed Negm, head of market research for the Middle East and North Africa at XS.com, said that positive developments in local business activity could continue to support the optimistic view among investors.
The main index rose in Abu Dhabi 0.4%.
In Qatar, the main index fell 0.5%, affected by a 4.3% decline in the share of Qatar Islamic Bank.
Outside the Gulf region, the leading index in Egypt fell 1.6%, with most stocks falling, including the Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding, which plunged 8.6%.
Negm pointed out that the factors of high inflation and lower growth expectations are behind the constant pressure on the Egyptian market.
In Bahrain, the main index closed flat at 1881 points.
In the Sultanate of Oman, the index settled at 4767 points.
In Kuwait, the index closed up 1.5% to 7764 points.