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.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.