Saudi Stock Exchange Set to Extend Losses on Weak Oil

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Nov 9 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets were subdued at the start of trade on Wednesday on falling oil prices and amid caution ahead of the release of U.S. inflation data.

Crude prices – a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets – edged lower as industry data showed U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected and fears a rebound in COVID-19 cases in China’s main importer will hurt fuel demand.

COVID-19 cases in Guangzhou and other Chinese cities have surged, with millions of residents of the global manufacturing hub due to undergo COVID-19 tests on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark (.TASI) fell 0.8%, extending losses from the previous session, hit by a 2.4% decline in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013. SE) and a 0.6% decline in Retal Urban Development Co (4322 .SE).

Elsewhere, oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) fell 1.3% as the stock traded ex-dividend.

Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) fell 0.3%, with utility company Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWAA.DU) rising 1.2% and Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU) losing 0, 8%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) fell 0.1%, on track to extend the previous session’s losses, weighed down by a 0.7% decline in the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi. Bank (FAB.AD).

But conglomerate International Holding (IHC.AD) rose more than 1% in morning trade after a sharp rise in quarterly profits.

Separately, Mubadala Capital of the United Arab Emirates is in talks to buy 20% of Brazilian soccer league LIBRA for $971 million. Read more

Qatari stocks (.QSI) gained 0.1%, helped by a 2% jump in Ooredoo (ORDS.QA).

In the previous session, the telecom company gained 3% following a report that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) was considering bidding for Ooredoo’s tower unit.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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