| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Most Gulf markets gain on rising oil prices

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Sunday in response to Friday’s rise in oil prices, with the Saudi index rising for a fourth consecutive session.

Oil prices – often a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial market – jumped more than 4% on Friday, rebounding from a 4-month low, with U.S. sanctions on some Russian oil shippers lending support.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.5%, with oil giant Saudi Aramco gaining 0.3% and the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank advancing 1.5%.

In Qatar, the index closed 0.2% higher, helped by a 1% rise in the Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank.

A softer tone to U.S. economic data last week has fuelled rate-cuts bets, pushing Treasury yields down and lifting equity markets.

Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index advanced 2.1%, buoyed by a 3.8% jump in Commercial International Bank (CIB).

CIB, Egypt’s biggest private bank, has secured a $150 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to shore up its capital base, it said in a statement on Thursday.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters on Friday the Fund was “seriously considering” a possible augmentation of Egypt’s $3 billion loan programme due to economic difficulties posed by the Israel-Hamas war.

  • Reuters