Gulf stocks dragged down by rout across global markets

The Saudi stock index fell by 1.6 percent with declining stocks outnumbering gainers by 169 to 13. (Reuters)
Updated 07 February 2018

Gulf stocks dragged down by rout across global markets

DUBAI: Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Tuesday because of the global downturn in equities.
But the region outperformed emerging markets in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan plunged 3.6 percent.
Because of low oil prices and poor liquidity, the Gulf greatly underperformed the uptrend in global emerging markets last year, so fund managers said it may be less prone to profit-taking and have less distance to fall on the way down.
The Saudi stock index fell 1.6 percent with declining stocks outnumbering gainers by 169 to 13. Cement shares continued to pull back after big gains last week, with Jouf Cement down 3.3 percent.
Mediterranean & Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance fell a further 5 percent, having lost almost 10 percent on each of the previous two days. The Capital Market Authority has said it might suspend or cancel trade in the stock following the central bank’s decision to prohibit the firm from issuing or renewing policies pending a capital increase.
But the biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, rose 0.7 percent. It reported a fourth-quarter net profit of SR2.56 billion ($683 million), up from SR2.29 billion a year ago. SICO Bahrain had forecast SR2.16 billion.
PetroRabigh added a further 3.1 percent after soaring 9.9 percent on Monday, when it reported a leap in fourth-quarter net profit.
Dubai’s index fell 1.5 percent as losing stocks outnumbered gainers by 32 to three. Abu Dhabi’s index sagged 0.9 percent.
In Qatar, the index lost 2.1 percent. Salam International Investment, the most heavily traded stock, closed 3.2 percent lower, far off its intra-day low. It had plunged by its 10 percent daily limit on Monday, when it posted an annual net loss of 89.9 million riyals ($24.7 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 119.7 million riyals.
Egypt’s index lost 1.6 percent but exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of strocks, by a modest margin.


IMF warns of Asia’s darkening growth outlook as trade war bites

Updated 18 October 2019

IMF warns of Asia’s darkening growth outlook as trade war bites

  • The IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region to 5.0 percent for this year and 5.1 percent for 2020
  • It also slashed China’s growth forecast to 6.1 percent for this year and 5.8 percent for 2020
WASHINGTON: Asian nations face heightening risks to their economic outlooks as the US-China trade war and slumping Chinese demand hurt the world’s fastest-growing region, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.
In its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region to 5.0 percent for this year and 5.1 percent for 2020 — the slowest pace of expansion since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
“Headwinds from global policy uncertainty and growth deceleration in major trading partners are taking a toll on manufacturing, investment, trade, and growth,” Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department, said during a news conference at the IMF and World Bank fall meetings.
“Risks are skewed to the downside,” he said, calling on policymakers in the region to focus on near-term fiscal and monetary policy steps to spur growth.
“The intensification in trade tensions between the US and China could further weigh on confidence and financial markets, thereby weakening trade, investment and growth,” he said.
A faster-than-expected slowdown in China’s economic growth could also generate negative spillovers in the region, as many Asian countries have supply chains closely tied to China, he added.
The IMF slashed China’s growth forecast to 6.1 percent for this year and 5.8 percent for 2020, pointing to the impact from the trade conflict and tighter regulation to address excess debt.