Leading Gulf stock markets experienced a decline in early trade on Thursday, following the decline in Asian shares and oil prices. The Saudi index is expected to record its first weekly loss in five weeks.
Energy prices, which are a major driver of the Gulf’s financial markets, saw no movement following a two-day loss, which included a significant drop on Wednesday. The atmosphere was negatively impacted by a downgrade in the U.S. government’s credit rating, while supply constraints offered some solace.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) fell 0.4%, after a 2.3% drop a day earlier as rating agency Fitch cut the U.S. government’s credit rating.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) fell 0.2%, on course to extend losses for a fifth session after it hit a nine-month high on July 26, weighed down by a 3.6% decline in Saudi Awwal Bank (1060.SE).
Non-oil business activity in Saudi Arabia eased in July, after output surged to multi-year highs the previous month, a survey showed on Thursday, as new order growth slowed.
On the flip side, Saudi Steel Pipes Co (1320.SE) surged about 10%, becoming the top gainer on the index, after it recorded 645% jump in second-quarter net profit.
In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) eased 0.2%.
Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) declined 0.8%, ending its fourth positive session, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) losing 1.3%, while top lender Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU) was down 1.5%.
Non-oil business activity in the United Arab Emirates eased in July as new orders slowed from a four-year high the previous month, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Qatari index (.QSI) dropped 1.5%, as almost all its constituent stocks were trading in the negative territory.
Sharia lender Qatar Islamic bank (QISB.QA) fell 4.6% and Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), Gulf’s largest lender, gave up 1.4%.