May 1, 2023 [Reuters] – Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Wednesday amid rising recession fears in the United States, with the Saudi index on course to end five-day winning streak.
U.S. Consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in April, a survey showed, intensifying concerns of a potential recession. Asian markets remained subdued.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 0.3%, on course snap a five-session gains, hit by a 1.1% drop in oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE).
Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) retreated 0.6%, weighed down by a 3.2% slide in Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAR.DU).
The United Arab Emirates needs time to demonstrate the effectiveness and enforcement of policies introduced against financial crime before it can be removed from a global watchdog’s ‘grey’ list, the economy minister told Reuters.
In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) gained 0.2%.
Oil – a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – rose after plunging more than 2% in the previous session as reports of falling U.S. crude oil and fuel inventories refocused investors on robust demand in the world’s top oil consumer.
U.S. crude oil stocks fell by about 6.1 million barrels in the week ended April 21, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) figures on Tuesday. Analysts had expected crude inventories to fall by about 1.5 million barrels.
The Qatari index (.QSI) – which traded after a three session break – advanced 1.3% and was on track to snap a seven-day losing streak, with Qatar Islamic Bank QPSC (QISB.QA) rising 2.2%.