| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Saudi, Dubai bourses rise in early trade, Qatar Falls

The stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia increased due to rising oil prices and data showing an increase in refinery operations in China. Other significant markets, however, were muted due to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish warnings regarding interest rate hikes.

Brent crude was trading at $73.39 per barrel as of 0750 GMT on Thursday, edging closer to its important support level of $75 per barrel for the Gulf’s financial markets.

Oil refinery throughput in China, the world’s top crude importer in May rose 15.4% from a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, hitting its second highest total on record.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index (.TASI) rose 0.2%, lifted by gains in finance, health care and consumer staples sectors with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib (4013.SE) Medical Services adding 1.6% and Almarai Company (2280.SE) surging 7.3%.

Dubai’s benchmark stock index (.DFMGI) added 0.2%, supported by gains in most sectors, with Emaar Development (EMAARDEV.DU) rising 2% and the Gulf Navigation (GNAV.DU) adding 2.6%.

The emirate’s largest lender Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU) gained 0.7%.

In Qatar, the benchmark index (.QSI) fell 0.5%, with index heavyweight Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) dropping 0.8% and region’s largest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) sliding 1.7%.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark stock index (.FTFADGI) lost 0.2%, weighed down by a 1.2% loss in Multiply Group (MULTIPLY.AD) and 0.6% drop in blue-chip developer Aldar Properties(ALDAR.AD).

The United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) slipped 0.8%.

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but signaled that borrowing costs may still need to rise by as much as half of a percentage point by the end of this year.

Currencies in most Gulf Cooperation Council countries are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

  • Reuters