Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Tuesday as risk appetite was dampened by recession fears and volatile energy prices, with the Qatari index underperforming the region.

Asian shares were down for a seventh straight session after a renewed spike in European energy prices stoked fears of recession and pushed bond yields higher, while tipping the euro to 20-year lows.

Benchmark gas prices in the European Union surged 13% overnight to a record peak.

In Qatar, the index dropped 1.5%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including the Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank, which was down 3.2%.

According to Ahmed Fouad, head of sales at Emporium Capital, investors moved to secure their gains. “The market could, however, find some support from the elevated natural gas prices.”

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gave up early gains to finish 1.1% lower, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 1% and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp retreating more than 2%.

The Saudi energy minister said OPEC+ had the means to deal with challenges including cutting production, state news agency SPA said on Monday, citing comments Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman made to Bloomberg in an interview.

Most major Gulf bourses ease on growth worries

Crude prices rose $1.32 to $97.80 a barrel, by 1110 GMT, as tight supply moved back into focus over the chances of OPEC+ output cuts to support prices and the prospect of a drop in U.S. crude inventories.

Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.5%, hit by a 1.4% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.2%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index concluded 1.1% lower.

The Egyptian index, which is down more than 15% so far this year, has come under pressure because of a sharp slide in foreign portfolio investor holdings and rising costs of key commodity imports, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 SAUDI ARABIA    lost 1.1% to 12,421
 ABU DHABI       fell 0.2% to 10,019
 DUBAI           down 0.5% to 3,393
 QATAR           dropped 1.5% to 13,594
 EGYPT           lost 1.1% to 10,138
 BAHRAIN         was up 0.1% to 1,901
 OMAN            eased 0.3% to 4,602
 KUWAIT          gained 1.7% to 8,807


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