BENGALURU: Saudi Arabia’s stock market ended lower on Tuesday as oil prices dropped more than $1 per barrel, while the Egyptian index rose sharply on the country’s plans to offer corporate tax breaks.
Crude prices, a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, retreated as bearish economic data from the world’s biggest oil consumers, the United States and China, weighed on prices.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index retreated 0.8%, snapping three sessions of gains, hit by a 2.1% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco, while Bank AlJazira slid 4.2% as third-quarter earnings fell short of market expectations.
Among other losers, Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance plunged 9.8%, its biggest intraday fall since Oct. 2020, as the insurer posted wider losses.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index advanced 1.4%, boosted by a 5.1% jump in Commercial International Bank Egypt.
Egypt aims to offer up to 55% in tax breaks to companies, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Orascom Development Egypt jumped 5.3% after it received an from developer SODIC to buy Orascom Real Estate for $125 million. SODIC shares rose 0.7%.
The offer comes as Egypt seeks to attract billions of dollars in investment from the Gulf as it struggles with the financial impact of the war in Ukraine, including soaring commodities costs.
In Qatar, the index finished 0.7% lower, extending losses for a second session while the Gulf’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank, lost 1.5%.
The Qatari market continued its decline due to lower natural gas prices overall, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst at XTB MENA.
“However, the market could change course if natural gas prices rebound more consistently and if listed companies publish strong third-quarter results.” The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.1%.
According to analysts, the Abu Dhabi bourse was volatile while traders reacted to the performance in oil markets and the main index could be exposed to new price corrections. Dubai’s main share index traded flat.