Mideast markets drop on oil, virus fears

Mideast markets drop on oil, virus fears
Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the oil facility in Khurais. (REUTERS)
Short Url
Updated 09 March 2020

Mideast markets drop on oil, virus fears

Mideast markets drop on oil, virus fears
  • Kuwait’s index dived 10 percent, its second biggest-ever single day loss

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Middle East fell sharply on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia’s index hitting a more than three-year low, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) pact with Russia to curb oil output fell apart on Friday.
A three-year pact between OPEC and Russia ended in acrimony after Moscow refused to support deeper oil cuts to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus and OPEC responded by removing all limits on its own production.
The collapse of the deal sent Brent futures tumbling 9.4 percent, the biggest daily percentage fall since December 2008, to settle at $45.27 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia’s index closed down 8.32 percent at its lowest since November 2017, with most of its constituents trading in the red.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia’s index closed down 8.32 percent.

• Kuwait’s index dived 10 percent.

• The Dubai index dropped 7.9 percent.

Saudi Aramco tumbled 9.1 percent, its sharpest percentage fall in a day, to SR30 ($8). The stock traded below its initial public offering price of SR32 riyals for the first time. Al-Rajhi Bank and the country’s largest lender National Commercial Bank fell 7.1 percent and 10 percent respectively.
Saudi Arabia, which slashed its official selling price (OSP) for crude for April, plans to raise its oil production above 10 million barrels per day next month, sources told Reuters.
Kuwait’s index dived 10 percent, its second biggest-ever single day loss. The Dubai index dropped 7.9 percent, its sharpest intra-day fall since October 2008.
Abu Dhabi’s index closed down 5.4 percent, its biggest intra-day percentage loss in more than five years. Market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank plunged 6.7 percent.
The Qatari index shed 2.9 percent as the Gulf’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, and Industries Qatar decreased 4.7 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.
Egypt’s blue-chip index was down 4 percent, with most of its constituents closing in the red. Market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 4.7 percent.


Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
Updated 17 January 2021

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
  • The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021
  • Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group raised their U.S. growth forecast for the second time this month on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan will hasten the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021, compared with a previous forecast of 6.4%, according to a report published on Saturday. It also raised forecasts for how much stimulus the new administration will be able to push through in the near-term, to $1.1 trillion from $750 billion.
Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control.
“Larger boosts to disposable income and government spending imply stronger growth later in the year,” the bank’s analysts wrote.