DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday, with the Saudi index snapping a 10-day winning streak, in response to Friday’s fall in oil prices and global shares.
Risk aversion dominated on Friday as stocks slumped on Wall Street and in Europe, and bond prices surged with investors seeking the relative safety of government debt.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dropped 1.2%, off from its highest in more than 15 years, dragged down by a 0.7% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 1% decline in oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Among other losers, Almarai finished 2.4% lower, after the Gulf’s largest dairy company reported a 14.7% fall in fourth-quarter profit.
Almarai said subsidy reductions, imported-feed costs and inflation for farm and dairy commodities were behind the fall.
The Qatari index eased 0.2%, with Qatar Islamic Bank down 1% and Commercial Bank closing 1.2% lower.
In the previous session, the lender dropped more than 6% after reporting a rise in annual profit but took a hit on its investments in Turkey which was impacted by continued volatility and the depreciation of the Turkish lira.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.6%, with almost all stocks on the index were in negative territory including tobacco monopoly Eastern Company.
The market volume suggests that the current move is a correction to the December rally and should not exceed the zone around 11,600 points, investment bank EFG Hermes said in a note.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 1.2% to 12,140
QATAR down 0.2% to 12,488
EGYPT lost 0.6% to 11,656
BAHRAIN up 0.1% to 1,815
OMAN down 0.3% to 4,224
KUWAIT dropped 0.2% to 8,015.