Most stock markets in the Gulf were down in early trade on Wednesday, following declines in oil prices amid worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep interest rates persistently high.
Oil prices – a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – dropped ahead of a panel meeting of OPEC+ ministers, which is expected to keep output policy unchanged.
Brent crude was down 0.6% at $92.49 a barrel at 0740 GMT.
Dubai’s benchmark stock index declined 0.5% in early trade, with all sectors in the red.
Emaar Properties dropped 1.6% and Emirates Central Cooling Systems slid 1.1%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index fell 0.1%, weighed down by a 3.2% slump in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution and a 1.2% decline in ADNOC Drilling.
The Qatari benchmark index dropped 0.6%, with all sectors trading in the negative territory.
Industries Qatar slumped 1.4% and index heavyweights Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank lost 0.5% and 0.8% respectively.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index was down 0.6%, dragged down by losses in almost all sectors, with Lumi Rental falling 2% and Arabian Internet and Communications Services dropping 2.1%.
Among the losers, oil major Saudi Aramco and the kingdom’s biggest lender by assets Saudi National Bank slipped 0.4% and 0.8% respectively.
U.S. job openings unexpectedly increased in August, pointing to a still-tight labor market that could compel the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed policy decisions because most regional currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar.