Major Gulf markets rebound as U.S.-China trade war simmers

Madiha Shakeel August 7, 2019

Major Gulf markets rebounded on Wednesday, mostly on back of their financial shares, after U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed fears of a prolonged trade dispute with Beijing and China’s central bank stepped in to stabilise the yuan.

The offshore yuan pulled back from an all-time low on Tuesday after Beijing appeared to take steps to prevent the currency from weakening further, following a sharp drop that prompted the U.S. government to declare China was manipulating its currency.

Dubai’s index traded 1.3% higher in a boost from real estate stocks which all rose. Emaar Properties increased 1.7% and its unit Emaar Malls gained 3.1%.

Most Gulf markets had been subdued in the past days amid muted trading before the Eid holiday starting at the end of this week.

Qatar’s index opened 1.7% higher after six days of straight losses as most of the companies traded higher. The Gulf’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank, increased 2.2% while petrochemical maker Industries Qatar advanced 2.4%.

In Saudi, the index rose 0.7% with Al Rajhi Bank  adding 1.1%, while United Cooperative Assurance  was up 3.5% after it reported a 136% surge in its second quarter net profit before zakat.

Gulf General Insurance hiked 3.6% as the insurer turned to profit from year ago losses.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 1.1% snapping a six-session losing streak. Market heavyweights First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates Telecommunications Group  rose 1.5% and 1.9% respectively.

Aldar Properties advanced a further 1.3%, ahead of a board meeting later on Wednesday at which it will discuss the company’s second-quarter financial performance. EFG Hermes forecasts a 7% rise in profit.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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