DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Tuesday as investors moved to secure recent gains, while taking account of US-China tensions, with the Qatari index snapping a 12-day winning streak.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.5%, on worries a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan would further harm relations between China and the United States.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.9% fall in Banque Saudi Fransi and a 1.3% decrease in Yamama Cement Company.
Investors in the Gulf moved to take profits and at the same time are wary of the tensions between the US and China concerning Taiwan, which could impact economic conditions further, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst of XTB MENA.
Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.9%, with top lender Emirates NBD losing 1.1% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank closing 0.8% lower.
Separately, the United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Chinese and other firms it said helped to sell tens of millions of dollars in Iranian oil and petrochemical products to East Asia as it seeks to raise pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear programme.
The US Treasury and the State Department imposed sanctions on a total of six companies, four based in Hong Kong, one in Singapore, and one in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in actions that were announced in separate statements.
In Qatar, the benchmark retreated 1.2%, ending 12 consecutive sessions of gains, weighed down by a 2.6% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.
The Abu Dhabi index advanced 1.2%, nearing a one-month high, boosted by a 1.3% rise in the country’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index added 0.2%, helped by a 4.5% jump in Misr Fertilizers Production Co .
SAUDI ARABIA eased 0.2% to 12,311
ABU DHABI up 1.2% to 9,895
DUBAI down 0.9% to 3,348
QATAR fell 1.2% to 13,302
EGYPT added 0.2% to 9,442
BAHRAIN dropped 0.3% to 1,900
OMAN rose 1.2% to 4,646
KUWAIT fell 0.5% to 8,620.