| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Most Gulf markets in the red on falling oil prices

 Stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday in response to Friday’s fall in oil prices, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade higher.

Oil – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – fell on Friday as the release of some hostages in Gaza reduced the geopolitical risk premium.

In Qatar, the index dropped 0.7%, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 1.5% decrease in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index declined 0.8%, with top lender Commercial International Bank losing 2%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged 0.1% higher, ending two sessions of losses, helped by a 1.2% rise in Elm Company.

OPEC+ has moved closer to a compromise with African oil producers on 2024 output levels, four OPEC+ sources told Reuters, after disagreements over those targets forced the group of oil-producing nations to postpone a key meeting.

The market is also waiting to see if Saudi Arabia extends its additional 1 million barrel per day (bpd) voluntary production cut, which is due to expire at the end of December.

  • Reuters