DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Middle East ended lower on Sunday, ahead of the usual flurry of quarterly and full-year corporate results over the next few weeks, with the Qatari index leading the losses.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index lost 0.3 percent, with petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries shedding 1.3 percent, and Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services closing 1.7 percent lower.
Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region’s financial markets, retreated by more than 2 percent on Friday as concerns about renewed Chinese coronavirus lockdowns tempered a rally driven by strong import data from the world’s biggest crude importer. Dubai’s main share index fell 0.3 percent, driven down by a 0.5 percent drop for blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.6 percent decline in shares of Emaar Malls. The Abu Dhabi index, however, closed 0.3 percent up, with Etisalat rising 1.1 percent while Aldar Properties finished with a 0.9 percent gain.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has agreed on a deal to produce and export hydrogen as fuel, its state media office said on Sunday.
The Qatar index dropped 0.5 percent, with most stocks in negative territory, including a 0.8 percent decline for petrochemicals producer Industries Qatar.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.1 percent, with top lender Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent.